Modern Sunbonnet Sue's Musings

Musings from the mind of a modern day Sue:

May 2012 - Posts

Sue's Sunday Morning Musings - Memorial Week-end

Aaaah! Sunday mornings. I enjoy not having to get up and go anywhere too early. This morning is rainy. Thunder and lightning was in the sky at 6:00 a.m. and the air outside has cooled off considerably. It seems to rain quite often on Memorial week-end, here in Michigan.

My week-end has been eventful. I spent time with my youngest daughter on Friday night, just helping her out with the two granddaughters. Her husband had been gone for three days working. She just needed a break and a chance to take a long bath. He did get home about 1:00 a.m. Saturday. Then, Saturday morning, we all went downtown to watch the Highland Festival parade. My 3-year-old granddaughter made some of the cutest comments. "There's a princess, grandma." "When I grow up, I'm going to play in a marching band." "Grandma, I got some candy. They threw it to me."

Later in the day, we had a barbecue at my oldest daughter's house. We enjoyed family time together with all three of our grandbabies. Great-grandma & grandpa were also there, so we took lots of four generation pictures and some with just the grandbabies. Of course, the grandbabies didn't exactly cooperate with the cameramen... crying, tipping sideways, 3-year-old making faces or looking at something other than the camera. It was enjoyable, though. Don't you just love digital cameras! You can delete the pictures that don't turn out, or show them off and laugh.

I'm glad that it's rainy today. Rainy days are the best days to stay indoors; "when it rains, I quilt". I have a wall-hanging I need to finish for the SewBatik Challenge at the National Quilting Association quilt show in June. I finally purchased a background fabric for my MQ6 mystery quilt. The reveal was Friday, so I certainly didn't get started on time. But, I like the reveal and need to make a quilt for a niece. Her favorite color is purple, so I found a light colored calico that will work for the design. I also have a baby quilt for my grandson that needs worked on. Of course, I won't be able to work on all of these today, but there is tomorrow.

Happy Stitching!

Posted Sun, May 27 2012 7:15 AM by Pamela | 1 comment(s)

Antique Singer Treadle Sewing Machine

When I was a child, we had a Singer treadle sewing machine in the house. We never really sewed on the machine, but it sat in our entryway, next to the other sewing machine, that I did use to make my 4-H projects and homemade clothes. A third sewing machine was in the hallway. It was a newer Montgomery Ward, I believe. This one was the best machine to sew on. But, I sometimes had to settle for the older machine. My younger sister really liked the treadle. After our mother passed away, our father sold the house. He let us each take items that we wanted. My older sister took the Montgomery Ward. I took the older model, removed the machine, and used the wooden case to hold my portable Singer. Alas, my younger sister did not get the treadle machine she so dearly loved. Unbeknownst to any of us, the machine belonged to a family friend that needed a place to store it. It remained in our house until my father called them to pick it up.

I now have an antique Singer treadle sewing machine in my possession. I heard about a local estate sale, a couple of week-ends ago, and decided to check it out. Mind you, this was the third day of the sale. I showed up early on Saturday morning, just after a downpour, and searched through the grounds. I noted the treadle machine in a back shed and knew that it was from the early 1900's. I couldn't tell the condition, since it had a couple of rugs and other items thrown on the top. I inquired about the machine and the immediate response was, "We're selling it for $75, but if you take it today, we'll sell it for fifty". Fifty dollars? How could I pass that up. Well, I didn't have any way of taking it home and I hadn't brought that much money along with me. I had planned to just check out the sale, then come back later with my husband, when he closed up the bakery shop.

Obviously, I got the sale. But, I was concerned that someone else would come along before I got back and steal it away. I was a bit concerned when we showed up an hour or so later with a truck. The back shed was shut up and the machine had been inside. However, when I asked about the machine, indicating that I had been by earlier, the sellers were more than willing to let me in to look closer at the machine and sell it for the fifty bucks.

Check it out. I looked up the seriel number on the Singer site and it was made sometime from 1908 to 1910. Currently, Singer treadles are listed on eBay between $400-$600.  I'm not looking at selling, though. This is my fourth Singer sewing machine. My first was a gift from my husband and his parents on our first Christmas together. The second is a Featherweight, also a gift from my husband, on our 25th anniversary; and the third in the Singer collection was purchased from my Grandmother's estate. I blogged about my The National Quilt Collection in past posts.

 We're all sentimental about something. That treadle machine brings back memories. Whenever I think about it, I recall my youth and learning to sew. My mother was not a seamtress, so she signed us up to a 4-H club, so that we could learn. My older sister and I would ride the school bus into the village of Pompeii on Monday nights, rather than getting off at home in the country. We met up with other club members at a lady's house, where we would work on our project. My younger sister was two years behind, so she had to wait to join the club. Later, we began sewing our own clothing, because it was more economical. We have all been sewing ever since.

Now, my sisters and I get together on a regular basis to sew. We make quilts, bags, table toppers, and other crafty items. It's a real family affair, Sister is Stitches, I call it. We've even talked about starting our own 4-H club or some kind of quilty business. The treadle will continue to give us inspiration. My younger sister was awed when she saw the machine. "It's just like the one we had as kids", she said. And proceeded to open the front drop down drawer that I didn't even know was there. Another time, I will have to tell you about all the little trinkets we found in the drawers.

Happy Stitching!

Posted Wed, May 23 2012 5:31 PM by Pamela | 5 comment(s)

My Fiftieth Birthday Arrives Tomorrow

I was born May 19, 1962 and my 50th birthday is tomorrow. Turning fifty is just another milestone, and this is one I don’t mind taking. My children are grown, married, and have given me three beautiful grandchildren. My husband, of nearly 32 years, continues to warm my heart with his love and respect, and corny humor. I use my free time to quilt all that I want. My career will be winding down to retirement, in as many years as I have worked in the field of food and nutrition. I wouldn’t go back to my teens or twenties or thirties for anything. I am just leaving behind another decade, with my best years of my life yet to come.

I just knew that the staff at work was up to something for a birthday celebration today. And, I guessed right that they would decorate my office with streamers and balloons.

Someone spent a considerable amount of huffing and puffing to blow up all those balloons. But, I surprised everyone before they could surprise me. For a gag, I dressed up for the occasion, and few knew who I was. Most did a double take, with their mouths wide open. One of my kitchen staff couldn’t get over that I got all decked out in costume. I'm just too serious and reserved. They just haven't seen my humorous side. I also treated everyone to a raspberry filled, white cake from my husband and my bakery, which I decorated.


It has been an eventful morning. But, this Grandma is going to keep on "kicking" for many more years. Oh, by the way, the staff also posted pictures, all over the worksite, of me playing kick ball at our division meeting last summer. Now, that picture was a bit embarrassing. But, not so embarrassing that I couldn’t share it with all of you.

Happy Birthday to Me!


Posted Fri, May 18 2012 1:27 PM by Pamela | 7 comment(s)

My 1st Grandson Arrived

I have been incognito. It seems I have no time to blog or get onto QCA. I planned to do the Mystery Quilt and do not even have my squares cut out. My time has been spent elsewhere.

My first grandson, Rowen, arrived the end of April. That's two grandchildren in less than two months. He is darling, but my daughter and son-in-law are dealing with the anxiety of first time parents. My daughter's delivery resulted in an unexpected C-section, which has prolonged her recovery. I have spent many days and nights helping out by grocery shopping, taking the dog out, cooking dinner, and just being there.

My granddaughter arrived in March and is coming along fairly well. Early on, she developed stomach problems. The doctor wasn't sure if it was colic or an allergy to dairy that comes through Mom's breastmilk. My daughter has had to eliminate all dairy, egg & soy from her diet. After holding my grandson, my 6-week-old granddaughter seemed enormous, and she's only 11 pounds.

Some of you may recall my baby shower blog in February, showing my two pregnant daughters. Well, here are my two daughters, with the babies.


My grandson is adorable.

My granddaughter is a sweetheart and her three-year-old sister is learning about sharing mom & dad.

Now, if I could just find the time to finish the second baby quilt.

Happy Stitching!

Posted Thu, May 10 2012 12:06 PM by Pamela | 2 comment(s)

MQN Mystery Quilt - Step 2 Piecing Instructions

My Michigan Quilt Network friends are making a mystery quilt. Each step will offer a clue to the name of this block. Get your super sleuth skills thinking to discover the mystery, and, together, we’ll get this mystery solved. Join me, if you haven’t already.

We’ll begin the next step in piecing our mystery quilt using Clue #3, Clue #4 & Clue #5 baggies. The pictures show making HST (half square triangles) using Thangles. Alternate instructions are given for making the HST without Thangles. For the Alternate method, you have cut your strips 2-7/8 inch wide when completing the cutting instuctions.

Step 2 Piecing Instructions:

1) Remove six (2) 2-1/2 inch strips from Clue #3 baggie and six (2) 2-1/2 inch strips from Clue #4 baggie.

2) Place one strip of each color, right sides together. Lay four Thangles on the top and pin in place. Repeat for the remaining strips.

Alternate step if you are making HST without Thangles: Cut the strips, with the right sides together, into 2-7/8 inch squares. Using a sharp pencil or fined tipped pen and a ruler, draw a line from one corner to the opposite corner. I use my 45 degree angle on my ruler to ensure the line is centered.

3) Follow the directions on the Thangles package to make the HST: The Thangles sections can be cut apart and the four paper sections chain pieced. Stitch the strips along the Thangles paper stitching lines.

Alternate step if you are making HST without Thangles: Stitch a ¼ inch seam on either side of the drawn line. Chain piece several squares at once, then clip apart and chain piece the other seam.


4) Follow the directions on the Thangles package: Use your rotary cutter to cut the Thangles paper cutting lines. Cut apart into squares; then cut the squares through the center between the stitching lines.

Alternate step if you are making HST without Thangles: Simply cut the squares through the center on the drawn line, to separate into the HST.

5) Tear the Thangles paper off from the finished HST. First, fold the paper back along the stitched seam and crease. Holding the paper along the stitching, gently tear away the paper. The paper in the seam will easily pull off.

6) Press half of the HST seams toward the warm color and the other half of the HST seams toward the cool color. Pressing the seams, in this manner, will aide in piecing later. Place all the HST pressed to the cool color side in Clue #3 baggie. Place the HST pressed toward the warm color into the Clue #4 baggie.

7) Repeat this process using the remaining six (2) 2-1/2 inch strips from Clue #3 baggie and six (2) 2-1/2 inch strips from Clue #5 baggie.

Clue #2 to the pattern:

This 19th century block pattern is also included in the Painted Barn Quilts trail in the Midwest.

This step may take some of you awhile to complete. Take your time; the next step will be coming in a few weeks. Enjoy!

Posted Fri, May 4 2012 2:08 PM by Pamela | with no comments