Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Scrubs Quilt - You Gotta See This One

Scrubs Quilt?

Yes, an animal theme quilt constructed from Dr. Gloria's collection of veterinary scrubs she and her staff provided.  The goal was to make a good looking queen size quilt for their boss Dr. Karen.  

on the quilt frame--while free style quilting spirals of feathers

Looking at the take up bar at the top, you can see I've added two art panels of color on the gray backing from more of the scrubs fabric strips.

Dr. Gloria picked out the blue sashing fabric, and neutral gray backing.  Great Choice!  She said blue is Dr. Karen's favorite color. 

This quilt features big blocks of stars with 16 patch centers

and big four patch blocks to show off the scrubs!

The best part of putting blocks together from "found materials" like scrubs--is understanding
you don't always get the contrast you were hoping for. 

But the focus becomes examining big and small fabric slices in the block.  It becomes a game of recognizing who's scrub is that one?  A quilted version of where's Waldo?

And, there are only so many garment fabrics to pair together, trying to squeeze out some contrast.

Here's some nice contrast, but every block can't be dark blue.  

Finished quilting, rolling it off the quilt frame.

This is a great chance to see the blue sashing. I call this City Lights Sashing, but you might call it something else.  They say there is nothing new under the sun, however if you give it a new name like I do "City Lights", then its new to me.  What do you call  it?  I'm curious.

Squaring the Quilt - getting it ready for the binding.

Attaching binding, getting ready for turning binding and hand stitching 4 hours!

My go-to sewing machine isn't fancy or expensive.  Not a problem for me.  It's a Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 and it gives me the piecing accuracy I need to build queen size quilts.  

Building the first row

Often I use the quilt frame as my design wall.  Assembling rows as I build each block, making sure I get a good mix of color combinations, and avoid repeats.

My Sewing Space: 2.5" strip sets laid out, to randomly piece 16 patch centers for the star blocks, and the leftover strip sets become the City Lights Sashing.

Making this quilt was a challenge and a lot of fun!  Carving up medical scrubs to make a quilt increased cutting prep time by 3; single cuts all the way.  Whew!

In the background, I hear music.  It's Donna Sommers singing, "She works hard for the money, so hard for it honey . . . "

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Fabric Journal Covers

Brocade Upholstery Fabric - Writing Journal Cover
Color: Pecan Brown and Navy

I made half a dozen fabric journal covers for Christmas.  Pictured are my first two attempts, both very successful in this lovely brocade upholstery fabric in pecan brown and navy.   

For the writing tablet: an inexpensive 100 page composition book with heavy cardboard front and back.

I read several articles "how to make fabric journal covers", and the best one in my opinion is,

The article has beautiful photos, and demonstrates how to measure the writing book as well as materials required to make it from start to finish.  Their fabric journal cover tutorial has an additional feature with a slim pocket for a pen, which I omitted.  

Instead I added other things: added a layer of cotton batting and printed cotton interior; 3 layers to add strength and firmness to the cover, and the expected weight of a high end diary.  I hate flimsy.  I quite fancy the padded feel.

Three layers: cover top, batting for firmness, and printed cotton for interior

By the way, this is the same 3 layer method and dimensions I used to make my fancy purses.  




My method of tying the button closure--allows both closure ties to become part of the decoration as well as the fancy button. 

Bring both ties to the front, and to the right of the button and make one tie loop,

Then, wrap the left tie snug under the button and make one more loop with both ties snug under the button.  Secure.  Done. Easy.

Tip: the closure is the perfect spot to use that ONE BIG VINTAGE BUTTON--the one you've been holding on to for such a long time--waiting for the perfect project.

Merry Christmas to all of you this snowy December morning.  Let's get ready for some marathon sewing in 2018.  


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Mystery Object - What Is it?

Mystery Object - What is it?

Can you guess?

Living in a 125 year old Victorian house is the perfect situation for collecting and displaying old and odd things, (besides me).

I had to do some research on this mystery object myself.  Let's see if you can solve the mystery.

Please leave me a comment, and tell me what you think it is.  

Funny comments are recommended, and more serious guesses are acceptable.    Outrageous Explanations of its use (as you see it) could draw rounds of applause.  

The moderation comments feature is enabled which allows me to read your comment and reply to you.   Half the fun is reading what everyone else guesses.  

Do you like mystery objects like this?  If yes, then I know you'll enjoy reading Road to Parnassus blog, where my friend Jim offers photos of mystery objects.  We all enjoy guessing what the hell is that?    Here's a link to his blog.  Enjoy!

Scroll Down for the answer to Linda's Mystery Object - What is it?

It's an "all metal" foot control for a 1929 Singer Model 99

When I started collecting sewing machines, this was my first purchase.  It sews like a dream.  Love the way it starts and stops efficiently.  Mr. Wizard (Ed Lamoureux)  of Vintage Sewing Machines blog tells me some unusual shaped foot controls like these were offered as kits. 

Check out Ed's wonderful blog at:

Friday, October 6, 2017

Victorian House Tour and Craft Show Sat/Sun Oct 28-29

255 Mill St. - Scandinavia, Wisconsin  54977
Halloween Weekend – Saturday Oct 28 and Sunday 29 – 10:00a to 5:00p

Tour the Wrolstad-Quien Victorian at 255 Mill Street in Scandinavia, Wisconsin Halloween weekend.  We are asking for a modest donation of $2 per person--all going to The Humane Society of Waupaca County.  

CRAFT SHOW on the first floor. 

Everything handcrafted and home-grown!

Loomed Rugs
Vintage and Antique Sewing Machines
Sterling Silver and Gem Stone Jewelry
Holiday Wreaths and Table Decorations
Handcrafted goat milk products: soaps, lotions, salves, and lip balms
Home Grown Canned Goodies: salsa, jams, jellies, pickles, pickled beets and onions.
Indian corn and popcorn too!

Enjoy chili and dessert by Scandinavia Library in the Red Garage on the property.



Our Queen Anne Style Victorian was built in 1893 by John and Mathea Wrolstad--owners of a successful logging business.  

Back row, left to right standing: sons and daughter Alfred, Sina, and James.  Second row, seated: son Martin, parents John Olsen and wife Mathea, and son John.  Littlest ones: Henry, Mabel, and Josephine.  
I believe this photo of our house was taken about 1905
The girl second from the left is Mabel Wrolstad youngest daughter of John Olsen Wrolstad and his wife Mathea.  

The second owners, Thomas and Maren Quien family owned the house for 90 years.

Standing, left to right: Bessie, Gusta, Peter, Ragnhild, 
with parents: Thomas and Maren (Gurholt) Quien.
photo c. 1910 - Second Owners

Thomas Quien with grand-daughters Mary Jane and Donna (children of Ruth and Peter Quien)
photo taken about 1926

Jon and I purchased the house in 2007 beginning a 8 year restoration.  We are delighted to show you all the ornate features of the house; faux bois woodwork, pocket doors, fret work (spandrels), 5-window bay, corbels, 3-window cut-aways, wrap around porch, summer kitchen, Juliet balcony, stained glass window, etched glass doors, wavy-glass windows, spoon carved woodwork, 1917 cook stove, 1916 parlor stove, and original hardware.  Be sure to see turn-of-century display of photographs belonging to the Quien family.

Kitchen - March 2008

Black panty hutch built in 1893 by original owners has pass-through doors and drawers into the dining room.  Check it out during your house tour!

Before: North Bedroom Upstairs
We drilled holes (right and left side) of the windows--to blow-in insulation.

After: North Bedroom Upstairs

Let me tell you a little bit more about our CRAFT SHOW ARTISTS— and more about our Victorian house restoration.

1. Jerry Johnson of Iola is a master rug weaver for more than 35 years.  At the Halloween Victorian Tour and Craft Show Jerry will demonstrate the frugal Scandinavian method of turning old clothing into beautiful woven rugs for the home.   Also--Jerry will demonstrate many antique and vintage sewing machines he restored. 

Jerry sewing fabric strips using his 1932 Singer Hand Crank sewing machine, model 99
(newspaper photo by Stevens Point Journal, Art in the Park event)

Rugs for Sale at the Craft Show

Jerry's rugs--close up . . .
Attention to Details: look at the colors Jerry mixes from a variety fabrics to make each rug unique

He uses pops of colors to cleverly transform a bittersweet chocolate rug.

Dazzling Gray Rug with all the Trimmings

Blueberry color fabrics suddenly become an Indian Corn Rug with sparks of autumn colors.

As as a teenager Jerry was already helping his Mother and Aunt sort old clothing by weight, texture, and color in preparation for rug weaving.  Jerry says, “cotton and wool make great rugs, but the real artistry of combining fabrics to create pattern, color, and texture—it all begins with my 1932 Singer hand crank sewing machine Model 99 . . . made of good old cast iron, and no plastic.”

Jerry studied with master weavers: Ken Colwell of Mineral Point, Joanna Ericksen of Boston, and Peter Collingwood of England.  Jerry says he loves to weave rugs, because it keeps a connection to the past alive.  He says, “people relate to the art of rug weaving—many people share stories of family members who made rag rugs, and that makes me smile.” 

1910 Singer 3/4 size Mdl 128 - hand crank restored

Early 1950s Nelco with a pedigree

This is one of the 1st machines Nick Tacony founder of Babylock distributed under his early company Western Distributing, St. Louis MO (decades before he became the Babylock brand, Tacony Corporation).

Be sure to look over the selection of vintage and antique sewing machines, restored and offered for sale at the Victorian House Tour and Craft Show.


Living Room Bay

2.  Jane Berkholtz  and daughter Krissy Samson have good news to share about their business "Just Hangin' aRound" and will show you some wonderful ways to decorate your home during the Fall and Winter with beautiful holiday wreaths, and table centerpieces.

Born and raised in New London, Jane moved to the Shawano area in 2010.  She's been doing arrangements and wedding flowers for more than 20 years now  Jane tells me, her husband Keith helps with all the wood cutting and new display ideas, while her daughter Krissy Samson created the business logo and facebook page Just Hangin' aRound."  Jane and Krissy look forward to meeting you at the Halloween Weekend Victorian House Tour.  Come browse their collection of wreaths and table centerpieces--and see how they've decorated our old Victorian House.

Red Dining Room at the Victorian House Tour and Craft Show

3.  Patti Kirchner - "Nature's Treasures--All Things Beautiful from The Earth and Sea" 
Patti is a designer of fine sterling silver jewelry.  The materials she uses are natural items: Gemstones, Pearls, Shells, Polished Stones, Sea Urchin Spines, Seeds from Hawaii, Mother of Pearl, and even Wood Beads.  Patty's expertise includes sterling silver wire-wrapping and hand-set stones  to make each jewelry piece perfect and truly yours alone.  

 I am pleased Patti joins us again for this year's Halloween Weekend Victorian House Tour and Craft Show where you can see, touch, and enjoy her handcrafted Earrings, Necklaces, Bracelets and Rings. 

She'll show you silver plated Scent Necklaces with sterling chains--you can wear your favorite scent on the puffball inside, or carry your favorite gem, pearl, or trinket.  Chat with Patti about her beautiful stone pencil pendants.  Great gift ideas for the holidays!


4.   Sandy Konto of Garmon's Farm Market will greet you with a variety of eatable delights! 

You may recognize the name Garmon's Farm Market who has been growing produce for the Waupaca area since 2000.  Lots of tasty things: sweet corn, tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers, summer and winter squash, potatoes, onions and more.  Garmon's Farm Market has been operating daily on the corner of Main St. and Fulton 9a to 5p for the last 17 years.

At our Victorian House Tour and Craft Show you can visit with Sandy and buy a variety of fresh and canned good eats, like Mike's Famous Garden Fresh Salsa (his secret recipe for 25 years).   If you haven't tried it--you really should--its fantastic.  There are 11 different jams and jellies, along with picked beets, onions, and pickles.  Indian corn and popcorn too!  Yummy.

West Bedroom Upstairs 16 x 16'
This is typical of what we found after removing wallpaper in each room in the Victorian.  We chased every single hairline crack with web tape and Durabond.  Sanded smooth, and troweled two coat of drywall compound, and sanded again.  New sheets of drywall for every ceiling in every room.

Next Step: West Bedroom Upstairs 16 x 16'
Ah, starting to look better?  The bedroom room ready to prime paint with Zinzer 1-2-3, and finally two coats of "Mossy" eggshell by Valspar.

Room finished in 2008.  Several years later I re-painted all the upstairs floors a Dark Expresso Brown and Jon added Crown Molding to each room.

Arched spandrel, east window bay, Living Room
(June 2007 - blowing insulation into walls, installing new ceiling)

Linda touching up faux bois finish on woodwork with artist brush and oil paints.
Living Room  - Fall of 2007

Fall of 2007
Repairing Downstairs Bedroom (formerly the Parlor)

Downstairs Bedroom Finished


5.  Selene and Fatima Saeed - will be here at this year's Victorian House Tour and Craft Show.  Their farm Glacial Acres is located in the northwest corner of Waupaca surrounded by ancient glacial formations.  They raise a small herd of goats, a small flock of sheep, along with chickens, ducks, turkeys, and guineas. 

Selene hand spins locally grown wool, and enjoys weaving, knitting, and crocheting.  She delights in  making colorful vintage-inspired embroidery on kitchen towels.  Never a dull moment on their little homestead!

Each batch of goat milk soaps, lotions, salves, lip balms, and deodorants are hand-crafted using vegetable oils, pure essential oils and other natural ingredients including wild-harvested medicinals on their property.

Special Note From Victorian homeowner Linda:
I am using Selene's soothing eucalyptus and tea tree oil soap every day.  I was suffering from heat rash this summer, and her fragrant antibacterial soap rescued my tender skin.

And most important, I want to tell you about Selene's gentle but effective Natural Insect Repellant repellent made of witch hazel, citronella, lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, bergamot and lemon grass essential oils.  Now I am protected and smell good too!

Long Hallway Upstairs - 2011
Process of Saving the Walls throughout the House

Homeowner Jon re-installing picture rail (found in the attic storage)

Repairing walls - Long Hallway Upstairs - started in 2011.  Finished in 2013.


Wall Repair - Stairwell 2013

Jon working on bathroom

What restoration really looks like.
This small bedroom upstairs homeowners Jon and Linda transformed into a first class bathroom.

Installing 3/4" beadboard

Kohler Clawfoot Tub
born May 12, 1903, Plant Line #2 Kohler, WI, about 11:30 in the morning
according to tub serial number and Kohler mfgr. records

7.  Linda Durrant - long arm quilter, Scandinavia WI.  My husband and I are the restorers of this old Victorian.  I will be displaying and selling my queen size bed quilts, baby quilts, table runners, over-sized fancy quilted potholders and dozens of my signature beaded zipper pull purses.

Be sure to check out all the 1950s restored VINTAGE SEWING MACHINES "For Sale" in my SECOND STORY STUDIO above the RED GARAGE.

This is the sewing studio where I work at home 

Recycled library card files transformed into storage

Jon built cubbies for storing Linda's fabrics

Old dining room table serves as Linda's layout and cutting table

My studio where I make quilts and purses . . .

In progress--this quilt is called "Cloudy with a Chance of Sashiko"

Soothing Sage Green Queen Size Quilt

Raspberry Cobbler Queen Size Quilt

Piecing Quilt on my 1939 Featherweight

Long Arm Quilting - "Gray with all the Trimmings"

Vibrant "X" Quilt

Long Arm Quilting "X" Queen Size Quilt

Finished Earth Tone Quilt

Detail of quilting on "Stars 'n Scraps" quilt

Long Arm Quilting of "Stars 'n Scraps" queen size quilt in Linda's studio (Victorian homeowner)

"Night Shirts" quilt

Detail of long arm quilting, "Night Shirts" quilt

Long Arm Quilting "Navy Blue" queen size quilt.  Linda experiments using freezer paper cutouts.

 Quilting around the freezer paper leaf template.

Orange Crush - Hand Applique - Queen Size Quilt

Detail of Hand Applique - Queen Size Quilt by Linda Durrant

Crazy Blue Jeans Quilt featuring machine embroidered and fabric yo-yos 

Hand stitching binding on "Cheese Platter" queen size quilt
Hand stitching binding on "Cheese Platter" queen size quilt

antique buffet in the red dining room

REMINDER:  The Halloween Weekend Victorian House Tour is:
Saturday Oct 28 and Sunday Oct 29
10:00a until 5:00p

DON'T FORGET-- there is a great lunch of chili and dessert by the Scandinavia Library Group in the Red Garage.

I'm looking forward to seeing you at our Victorian House Tour--Halloween weekend.  Can't wait to talk to you and thank you in person for supporting
The Humane Society of Waupaca County