Monday, April 16, 2007

I promised photos of my new acquisitions this past weekend at the MCC sale. My favorite part of it is the "Quilter's Corner," where they have not only quilts and things to make quilts, but also other kinds of needlework too, including vintage linens.

I am absolutely in love with hand crocheted lace and fine embroidery. This is part of a dresser scarf that I loved. The embroidery is delicate with perfect tiny stitches and the lace was crocheted seperately and then sewn on with the same verigated thread.

This scarf had such a sweet design. Magazines used to include patterns with each publication. Businesses would give them away and books were readily available for a few pennies. Everyone did handwork, generally more than one kind of handwork.

I bought a number of things with hand crocheted lace on them, including a set of pillowcases I'm planning to use on the bed. They're in great shape and are embroidered with morning glories, one of my favorite flowers. After a washing they'll be on my bed. The pair of them was $3 and there's nothing wrong with them.

I couldn't resist a closeup showing the tiny stitches in these pillowcases. I wonder when ladies had the time to do this work. It's funny how we talk about how we have no time and these ladies were working much harder than we are today just to handle basic life chores, and yet they found time to create these beautiful things to enhance their lives.

I often say life is in the details and these things are such a prime example of that. They could have just embroidered the pillowcase, but they went a step further and crocheted lace to go around the bottom of it, too.

I also bought this scarf that had these beautiful large pineapples on three sides. I wonder if it was meant to go on a piano or a fireplace.

The single most striking piece I bought was another pillow case with an unusual decoration.

This is all beautiful crochet. It has one little broken edge and I'm going to sew it back together and use the case. I just adore this and I've never seen anything like it.

I also bought a number of doilies - something else I love. I have them all over the house. I guess that might seem weird for someone my age, but I have always loved this sort of thing - even when I was a kid.

The yellow one below is now on my coffee table. My living room walls are a pale yellow so it's a perfect match.

Pineapples, as you see in this and also in the scarf edging above, were a Victorian symbol of hospitality, and they remained a popular motif well into the 20th century. If you notice when you visit Victorian homes, you'll often see the pineapple in stained glass or in carved woods. I find such things quite charming.

I also purchased two very old quilts at the sale. They are too worn to be of interest to serious collectors, but I adore them. They were $5 each.

The mere fact that they're hand stitched is sufficient for me to buy them at that price. Hand pieced and hand quilted items are rarely made these days.

I'm often surprised by how much creativity people showed when doing their handwork. This red polka dot material was the backing on one of the quilts and it was also used as the center for every star on the front of the quilt.

The other places where you see the polka dots are where the top has worn away, but each star has a centered dot. Lovely.

I also picked up what was once a Sunbonnet Sue quilt.

I also couldn't resist this piece of what was going to be a double wedding ring quilt. I love it because you can see the pieces are made from fabric that is already worn. Quilts were not always made by starting with new material - quite the opposite - quilts were made from the fabric that had become too worn out to be used as clothing anymore.

Although I bought many other goodies, I'll share just one more - this little scrap that was meant to be embroidered.

Proud of Myself

I'm feeling pretty proud of myself tonight. This afternoon I successfully tackled a small plumbing project. I installed a new fill valve in the upstairs toilet.

OK, yes, I know, my life is more exciting than the average person's, what can I say?

Not only am I pleased I was able to fix it, but I love the fact that what would have been an $80 bill was an $11.47 cent bill for the part.

Frankly, when you need to do the same, tackle it yourself. The hardest part was loosening the nut to remove the old one. It was very simple - and mine looks just like the picture on the instructions. You can't beat that.

Overall I've had a very productive few days, even without the plumbing work. I did my taxes, and got an art show application in the mail. Greg helped me move my writing desk downstairs and also unload some stuff at my office. I also fixed a webpage problem for him at It wasn't a big deal, but just required having some time to sit down and work on it. I also did a lot of "life stuff" as well as some MHA stuff. I even had time for fun at the MCC sale.

We went back out there Saturday, and I bought yet more vintage linens and some cloth. We also ate lunch there. I love the Bohne Beroggi. I used to pick up the Bohne Beroggi recipe they offer every year, and even posted it before. I didn't bother this year because I'm obviously never going to make it. It doesn't sound appealing. It doesn't look appealing. But it's delicious. Honest.

Frankly, every year we photograph the food, and other than the pie, it's all white. It's amazing. If you were trying to avoid white food, which some nutritionists suggest, you'd be so out of luck. The relish tray has carrots, celery and pickles on it, and the pie has some color depending on the flavor, and the borscht, but there's a lot of white food there. Verenike is white, the ham gravy you put over it is white, the bohne beroggi is white, the sauce it's in is white, the zwiebach is white, etc. - you get the idea.

But I do love the little glimpse into another world it sometimes gives you.