Friday, July 25, 2014

Matching birthday nightgowns

We have a new 4 year old in the family.  One of her presents from grandma was a nightgown with a matching one for her doll.

I had a couple of yards of a beautiful and very soft barely pink cotton batiste which was just perfect for comfy nightgowns.

I added a touch of matching embroidery to the yokes.

My inspiration was this issue of Sew Beautiful magazine.

It pictured matching nightgowns, but only the doll nightgown pattern was included in the magazine.

I went through my pattern stash and found this pattern for a 4 year old version.  Fortunately, the embroidery design in the larger size was also found in Sew Beautiful.  It was a quick fun summer project for the cutest 4 year old that I currently know.

Special thanks to her mommy for the first picture!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer reads with an India twist

I did a bit of reading back in June before all the company came.  I read two novels which were set in India as well as the British Isles.  Both traveled back and forth in time as descendants tried to find the true story of a ancestor.  The Kashmir Shawl is the story of a Welsh Christian missionary couple in the northern part of India and eventually Kashmir as the world, including India, descends into war.  It is also the story of a Kashmir shawl which is found in the the drawer of a dresser in a former missionary's home in Wales and the great grand daughter who takes it to Kashmir in search of its origin and how it come into her great grandmother's possession.  If you read it, you will probably be googling Kashmir as I did.  It is a beautiful place.

I really enjoy books written by Lucinda Riley.  This one did not disappoint.  The settings were vivid, the characters interesting, and there are mysteries to be solved in surprising ways.  An Indian woman passes on her life story to her great grand son at her 90th birthday party in India.  She tells him that she trusts him and feels like he is the one to read her until now secret life story.  She is sure that a baby she bore in England did not die as she was told and she wants him to find out the truth.  The contrasts between culture and different ways of living combined with prejudice may break your heart.  Don't let the plot device of a movie being filmed in an English manor in present day keep you from exploring the past for that is were the true story lies.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fat Man's Squeeze

I managed to do some sewing before my machine dropped into its cabinet and out of sight for the duration of family visits for three weeks.  I'm blaming my occasional grumpiness on a sewing machine no longer in plain sight and available to calm me down.  If I offended you during this busy time, please forgive me.

I made a patriotic quilt in June in honor of the 4th of July.  Last December I came across "Strip-Smart Quilts" by Kathy Brown at JoAnn's.  It caught my eye because of the red, white, and blue which always catches my eye.  Of course, I used my coupon and bought it.  Later this spring Grant's Park by Minick and Simpson hit the shelves at quilt shops.

Do you see the similarity in color way to the quilt on the cover?  I knew this was my fabric so bought a jelly roll of Grant's Park which sat around mocking me for weeks. I knew that June was my time to tackle my very first jelly roll quilt.

The book had great instructions and diagrams.  The only difficulty that I had was that once I had sewn strip sets, cut them on the diagonal, and mixed them up and sewn them into blocks I had blocks with four sides on the bias.  It made it a bit tricky when I was sewing on my borders, but it looked much better after I did the machine quilting.  I loved the look of a binding which matches the outer border.

I created a simple label with my sewing machine for the back.

I put a stripe of small blue print down the middle and used the largest print in the collection for the rest of the backing.

The name "Fat Man's Squeeze" caused confusion at our family reunion during the Quilting Bee.  Kathy Brown said the name came from a favorite hiking trail in the Appalachian Mountains where one had to squeeze between two large rocks.  This quilt looks great draped over a chair in my family room.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The long drive home

It was finally Saturday, time to pick up our grand son from EFY, pack up the grand girls, and return them to their families in Arizona.  But we had a few more stops to make along the way.  If you have never pulled off the I 15 at the I 80 to visit Cove Fort, you MUST do so on your next trip north or south.  It is a wonderful step back in time.

Cove Fort was built in the 1867 to provide protection from the Indians and to provide shelter for travelers who were on the "Mormon Corridor."  It is located about half way between Fillmore and Beaver.  The tours are informative and you will love seeing things and furnishings from long ago.

Cove Fort was also a telegraph station, Pony Express station, and stage coach stop.

One could get a meal and find a place to sleep.

Twelve rooms surround the yard in the middle, six on the south which include the telegraph room, office, kitchen and dining rooms, laundry sewing room, and one bedroom with access to a cellar.

The kitchen end of the dining area.

The loom in the laundry area.

Clean long johns.

Boys bedroom.  Each room had a door to the yard as well as a door to the next room allowing one to move from room to room if needed.

The building in the background was the blacksmith shop of Ira Hinckley, the builder of the fort.  Ira Hinckley was the paternal grandfather of Gordon B. Hinckley.

Beautiful vegetable gardens have been replanted on the west side of the fort.  Six missionaries are called each summer just to work in the gardens.  I may have found my missionary calling.

My favorites, hollyhocks.  These were growing every where, but I especially loved these in front of the rock wall. The fort walls are thick and made of lava rock which was found nearby.

The six rooms are on the north side of the fort are bedrooms.  Notice how each room has it's own fireplace chimney.  You can't miss TJ in his orange shorts.

I loved the quilts and coverlets in each room.

They were large rooms with room for sitting or for more than one bed.

Looking through this doorway, you can see just how thick those lava rock walls are.

The three black locust trees were planted by Ira Hinckley.  They were large and beautiful and have outlived their usual life span by many years.

If this were a B and B, I would reserve a room in a minute.

Once again, very thick walls.  The outer walls were a couple of feet thicker than the inner walls.

There were gun portholes on each wall.  Luckily, they were never put into action.

The wheel in the background is not a spinning wheel.  It is called a weasel and was used for winding equal length skeins of yarn.  When there was enough yarn for a skein the weasel would make a popping noise and stop, thus the term, "Pop goes the weasel!"

Another view.

This is what you do when you run out of red.  I always run out of red.  I love red in quilts.

That is a photograph of Ira and his wife, Eliza Jane, on the wall.

The dress is a replica of a dress worn by Eliza Jane.

This is a chair of Ira's and was donated back to the fort by Gordon B. Hinckley.

This upper walkway has been restored on the east side.  It use to encircle all four walls.

The very tall black locusts trees provide the feeling of being in a tree house.

Long stairway back down.

View of walkway from below and the gates at the main entrance which were wide enough for a wagon and team of horses.

The barn has been recreated on the north side.  Horses were kept here and provided fresh teams for the stage coach lines and the Pony Express.  We explained to the kids that Cove Fort was much like a service station, the horses got fuel to eat and travelers could find something as well.

More gardens on the south side.  The missionaries are provided with fresh produce from these gardens.

Just look at that sky!

It was Ruby's birthday.  She is standing in front of the cabin where Ira Hinckley lived in Coalsville.  It has been moved to the Cove Fort grounds.  Ira was essentially called on a mission to build Cove Fort from Coalsville.

The fort in the distance.  Stop by sometime to experience a long ago time.

Our EFYer had a hard time staying awake on this trip.  He had essentially stayed up the night before saying goodbye to all his new friends.  Here he is asleep on his great aunt Wylene's couch in Hurricane.

And at Tuachan in St. George.

Grandpa encouraged him to move to the grass after the table left marks.  We had a Dr. Pepper intervention as we didn't want him to sleep through. . .

The Wizard of Oz!  This was our final stop for the day and it was a great one.

Some people carry a book where ever they go.

The Dr. Pepper worked and he was up for the show.

The birthday girl sang along and wished she had been cast as a munchkin.  We met three other people celebrating their birthday that day, the waitress at Arshel's Cafe in Beaver, the concession stand helper with Dr. Pepper, and the lady sitting right behind Ruby at the play.  They were both beyond excited about that connection, two people celebrating their birthday by hanging out with Dorothy!   Grandpa had purchased great tickets with seats center stage and just three rows back.  The Yellow Brick Road passed by in front of the first row so we felt like we were in the middle of the action.  The wicked witch flew in right over our heads!

When we arrived back at our rooms just before midnight, Ruby asked for a picture with July's Supermoon on her magical 10th birthday.  Love you sweet girl!  The next day we delivered our grands to their parents.  We were so happy to have created some special memories with them!