Monday, August 8, 2016


What fun it was to read about all your favorite quilt books. I recognized many familiar favorites among them and learned of others I'll be sure to check out. As promised, I've drawn a name via random number generator and the winner is Donna K. who wrote the following. Congratulations, Donna! You can email me your mailing address by clicking the "Email Me" button in the right sidebar of my blog and I will ship these goodies to you later this week when I make my weekly trip to the post office. I will be back later this week for yet another giveaway as I continue my sewing room cleanup.

I love any book by Betsy Chutchian or Kim Diehl and I love quilt history books.

In between work and my cleanup efforts, I've been sewing up more of my Aunt Tilly's tuffets for a special order. It is fun to experiment with different color combos like this black, white and pink one.

Coral and brown are a winning combo—at least according to this pink-and-brown lover!

In last week's post, I mentioned that my sister who was visiting from California suggested zucchini fritters for the overgrown ones. We enjoyed the delicious fritters she made for dinner one night. One zucchini easily provided a scrumptious dinner for the three of us. Because my sister has to be gluten-free, she used cornmeal instead of flour. I liked the nice, crunchy texture.

Thursday, August 4, 2016


I can't believe the week is nearly over. My sister from California has been visiting so I haven't been getting much work done. She loves to cook and has been helping me find uses for the monster zucchini plants I forgot to harvest when I should have. I'm trying to do a better job of harvesting them at the proper time. In the meantime, my sister is going to teach me how to make zucchini fritters with the two behemoths I harvested the other day. She also gave me a recipe for a delicious tapioca pudding made with coconut milk. I had not tried coconut milk before so I was anxious to give it a try. The coconut milk that she gets is unsweetened so you have to add something to make it tasty. Turns out she brought the perfect sweetener—homemade blackberry jam! She brought us that, blueberry plum butter, strawberry jam, and ginger peach preserves. You just add a tablespoon of jam to the tapioca pudding and it tastes delicious. She tells me you can easily half the amount of sugar in jam and it still tastes plenty sweet. That seems to be true as the blackberry jam was more than sweet enough for my palate!

My organizing efforts in the sewing room have come to a standstill for now but I do have another giveaway to help spread the wealth. Up next is this assortment of creative inspiration—two books, Historic Quilts of the DAR Museum and Mary's Favorite Blue and White Quilts by Mary Koval; the latest issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine (the fall issue); and a 16" square of beautiful hand-dyed magenta pink wool from my talented friend, Phyllis Meiring. If you want a chance to win this prize package, just leave a comment telling me what your favorite quilt book is. Due to the unexpected higher shipping cost, this particular giveaway is only open to those in the US. You have until Monday, August 8, at noon to enter. I'll randomly draw a name and announce the winner later that day. If no one enters, the books will be donated to the local library as I just want to find good homes for them.

Last but not least, I thought I'd wrap up this post with a cute kitty pic. Figgy has started lounging in this funny position with his back legs splayed out. Do any of your cats do this?

He also lets his tongue hang out even after he wakes up. I've seen kitties do this while they're sleeping but not so much when they're awake.

Thursday, July 28, 2016


Thanks to those of you who left comments and emailed me regarding the giveaway on my previous post. I enjoyed hearing about your favorite wool projects. You all sound very talented. I wish I could have awarded you all a prize. As promised, I drew a name via Random Number Generator and congratulations go to Michelle T who wrote the following comment. You won the wool and book! Michelle, email me your mailing address by clicking the "Email Me" button on the right sidebar and I will mail the goodies to you on Monday. For those of you who did not win, do not be discouraged. I will return next week with another little giveaway as I continue to organize my sewing room! Until then, have a wonderful weekend!

Oooh! I love working with wool!!! I have made sweet Christmas ornaments and small table runners with wool. Thanks for the chance!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


I'm organizing my sewing room and paring down my sizable stash of fabric and quilt books. To share the wealth, I thought I'd do an impromptu giveaway for these two approximately 18" square pieces of brick red hand-dyed wool and this classic quilt book by Betsy Chutchian. If you're interested, leave a comment or email me at with your favorite wool project. I'll randomly draw a name this Thursday, July 28th, at 6 p.m. central time. If there are no entries, these goodies will be donated to a local sewing group. I just want them to find a good home!

Monday, July 18, 2016


Thank you to those of you who purchased some of my items featured in the previous post. It's nice to know they are going to good homes! My cat Figgy and I just spent this morning preparing the guest room for my sister who is coming to visit in early August. We changed out the quilts on the rooms's two Jenny Lind beds with cheerful 1930s beauties. Figgy particularly likes the bed with the star quilt on it! He loves to "help" whenever he can.

With the new carpet finally installed, we're moving furniture back into the parlor. I thought this would be a good time to change things up. So I decided to move our Victorian whatnot shelf to a new spot and decorate it with my vintage English candy tins and miniature Grandfather clocks. On the bottom shelf sits my husband's grandmother's hand-crank sewing machine, though you can barely see it in this photo.

I meant to write a couple weeks ago that I was elated to finally harvest the first of my zucchini from the plants and seeds we started in late April! These seem like behemoths compared to the grocery store's. They measure about 12 inches long and 2 1/2" in diameter. 

We planted six plants, which might have been overkill for two people, but we've never grown them before so thought we should plant extra in case some of the seeds made it. The zucchini in the above photo is Renee's Garden variety called 'Clarimore'. According to the seed packet, they have a unique creamy texture and a delicious nutty sweet flavor. They do take up a fair amount of space in the garden as you can see from my below photo, so we will be sure to space them farther apart next spring. If anyone in Adel wants one, I have one to spare!

Speaking of veggies, I normally don't like salads because I am not a huge veggie fan but I must tell you about a delicious veggie salad I love ordering from this lovely new bistro (Flavory Bistro) in Ankeny. The owner takes great pride in her dishes and it shows in everything she makes. I've ordered different things here (chicken gyros, smoothies, baklava) and always been delighted with them. Seems like it would be hard to be impressed by a salad but I am with this one that features romaine lettuce, cabbage, walnuts, and sautéed asparagus, peppers and yellow zucchini sautéed in lemon or lemongrass. You also get two tasty pieces of toasted pieces of bread. If you live in the area, I hope you'll try it out. Tell them that Kimber who loves the veggie salad sent you and I'm sure the owner will get a kick out of that! Have a lovely Monday, everyone!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


I'm embarking on a summer cleaning fest and have decided to part with some of my furniture like this vintage Cheval dresser. The mirror is pretty tarnished so I would not consider that part functional but if you're looking for a pretty decorative piece for a bedroom, it might be a great fit. I actually used the piece to display my vintage quilts by stacking them in front of half the mirror. I thought I'd see if there might be any interest on the blog before I send it over to my friend's antique shop. If you have any interest in it and can pick it up (we live just a short distance west of West Des Moines), we are selling it for $80. You are welcome to come out and take a closer look at it before deciding whether you want to buy it. For more specifics on the piece, feel free to leave a comment or email me by clicking the "Email Me" button in the top right sidebar of my blog.

Also for sale is this set of whiteware plates with fretwork (these are new) for $35. The largest platters are 12 inches across and the smaller ones are 10 inches across. Because of their delicate nature, I'm just selling them to those who might be willing to pick them up. 

I'm also selling one of my vintage White sewing machines (below) for $50. I generally use these oldies but goodies as just display pieces rather than as functional sewing machines so I haven't tested this out to see if it actually works. You would be welcome to try it out before deciding whether to buy it. As I continue my cleaning, I may be posting some other items. 

In other news, we finally have our carpet installed! Our quest to find patterned carpet for our 1898 Victorian house turned out to be quite the saga! The carpet we picked out fell through a whopping four times due to assorted issues ranging from manufacturing flaws to a careless forklift operator who slashed the carpet. Kane Carpet (a carpet manufacturer), in particular, seemed to have problems with their die-lots. They were so off that they didn't come close to matching the actual samples we saw in the showroom. They tried twice to get it right but after the second failed attempt, we decided to look elsewhere. If the hardwood floors (below) under our old carpet were in better condition, we would have just stuck with those. With the "help" of dear Figaro (pictured below), we gave the hardwood floor a thorough cleaning before the carpet was installed.

Luckily, Figgy approves of the new damask-patterned carpet! Figgy just had a checkup at our vet and we were delighted to hear he now weighs 10 pounds. Our vet had told us earlier that he would be a smaller cat boy due to his rough start in life. I think he wanted to warn us not to expect him to get as big as our previous kitties, Poe and Teddy, who were considered big boys at 17 pounds!

In celebration of the completion of this long overdue project, I've ordered a pink tufted sofa and hope it will go well in the living room. If it does, we may be selling our camelback sofa but it not, we'll keep it. I'll leave you with a scene from that room as evening fell the day our carpet was finally installed. By the way, we would also like to eventually sell the blue wing back chair (with the quilt draped over it) in this photo.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


In this post from last year, I mentioned that some of my collectibles were being photographed for Best of Flea Market Style magazine. It seems so long ago but the issue is now on newsstands!

You can find photos and write-ups of my collections on pages 45, 82, 122 and 123. I recently found out more of them will be published in a flea market book that is in the works! I was so tickled that they photographed my collection of wooden peg dolls (below) but was not fond that they wanted me to be in the shot as well.

My colorful vintage English and Dutch candy tins were one of the first collections to catch their eye when they came to the house. I love their fanciful forms and charming decoration. When I spotted a two tiered chippy blue stand several years ago, I knew it was the perfect stage for these delightful containers. The magazine staff didn't have to readjust anything for this shot. Usually, they like to move a lot of things around to achieve the perfect shot.

I also have an article in the magazine. It's about a New York woman's cozy cottage filled with treasured heirlooms and timeworn finds.

I'm slow at getting the word about this issue, so I hope it's still on newsstands. If so, I hope you can check it out!