Little Quilts

Today I am quilting the last border on the church quilt. It is a really pretty day and I hope to spend time on the porch. I am planning to stitch tiny little quilts next. I have started a autumn flying geese and I hope to complete it. Next I would like to used traditional Lancaster County, PA. colors and try to create some of their beautiful patterns in miniature. Long ago I made a sunshine and shadow wall quilt and incorporated their Amish star quilting pattern. On the border I used a hearts and a vine pattern. I will take a photo for you. In 1976 when I first started quilting I attended a quilt show in Wayne, PA. I had the fortune to meet the creator of ARDCO templates. I truly enjoy hand work, these templates are made to accurately mark the cutting and the sewing line. Joy! Even if I only have a small scrap, I can be sure it will be usable by testing with the template. If you google these templates are still available. Most folks today and most books also use rotary cutting techniques in place of templates. So you have a choice. There are several things about creating with fabric that really bring me enjoyment. First is the creativity. Many of the patterns for quilt blocks are historical. The name of the quilt block can even tell a story like king David’s crown or Road to Oklahoma, but the quilt you create will be unlike anyone else has ever made. The fabric you choose, the setting of the blocks, sashing, and borders all make it unique. Please do not be imitated by all the photos of prize wining quilts. Go ahead and express yourself. Remember, only God is perfect. Some of my quilts, well, they kinda of run uphill or downhill, truly. But I had hours of pleasure and prayers creating what I hoped would bless another. It does not have to be hand sewing, but I encourage you to express yourself creatively. It is good for your mind, your heart and your spirit. God wants us to love each other. Sewing has given me a way to touch another. What creative activity do you enjoy that you could use to bless another? God bless, Trudy

Spring Blessings

The completed flowers

I have lots to share with you. As you can tell from the photos, I have been happily stitching. I will start with the wreath on the font door. I bought the twig wreath at a thrift shop. I wrapped it with some lace. Since our anniversary is coming up, I used the strand of pearls and gold ribbon from the crown made for our fiftieth anniversary. Some baby’s breath and forget-me-knots from my wedding flowers. The pretty cross was a gift. The little cross stitch heart I made has two wedding rings and our Initials.

Joy! Next I found some old cushion covers and took them apart and made seat cushions for my porch rockers. I cut my geraniums that had overwintered in the kitchen. Putting the cuttings in some of my bottles with a little plant food and they all rooted. I filled my 3 window boxes with fresh potting soil and the cuttings. I set them on the porch. I found a white rabbit pillow that I made last year. I next took some scraps left over from the church quilt and made a strip pieced heart. I appliqued the heart to a white pillow. I had enough fabric to make a square table topper. The last piece was not big enough so I sewed a border to each side and made a rectangle table topper for the small table by the front door. The cost was to purchase some potting soil for my window boxes. JOY! By the front door is a flower pot of spring bulbs. These were planted last fall and I am so happy to see this touch of spring! For the small entrance table I brought out my apple bird house from the kitchen.

Lastly, the very first pictures show how I made a fabric daffodil. The library offered a class on making flowers from fabric. I took pictures for you as I went along. Patrick picked a flower from the garden for inspiration. I wanted a smaller circle so I traced a little tea cup. I cut out five circles which I folded into triangles. Knot a long piece of thread and sew a running stitch through each triangle base. Use the same thread for all the petals. When you pull on the two threads they will gather. Knot the thread. The next part was my own idea. I cut a rectangle, gathered it then sewed the two ends together to form the center if the flower. If you want a yellow daffodil, use yellow for the petals and make the rectangle a little wider. This will create the trumpet. I made leaves from green scraps. The secret here is to make the base of the leaf wide enough so you can turn the leaf to the right side. Sew the center to the petals then sew the leaves. A circle of felt tidies up the back stitches and lastly sew on a little pin. These make nice thinking of you gifts.

I want to share with you that it is possible to do a lot if you play with ideas. If you do not have fabric, visit the thrift shop. I have used men’s shirts to create with. Think about lace or buttons you could salvage from other things. Table cloths are another fabric source if they are cotton. Even if there are stains, you can use the good parts. It really is fun. The only caution I share is not to go overboard. Use what you have so there will be room in your scrap basket. Happy Spring!

Blessings and Hugs,

Trudy

Welcome Spring

Happy First Day of Spring! Sunday I took miniature daffodils to church and I came home with a bunch of the taller ones. I enjoy putting flowers from our home on the alter. I then give them to someone after service. This time I received flowers. I have had fun as I continue to freshen our home. Mr. Pat took me to the thrift shop and to Michael’s on Saturday. I got three things at each place and was delighted to spend only the amount I had planned on. At the thrift shop I bought a small plate. You know I love dishes with roses, a little tin and a book on machine quilting. At Michael’s I got a tiny bird’s nest, tiny little eggs and a tiny little birds. I couldn’t wait till I got home. Remember the little branches I used for my Loving Tree? I used them again, this time in a blue bottle. Little silk blossoms had been hot glued on. I added the nest, eggs and two little blue birds. Joy! I had put aside earlier a piece of blue denim fabric. I used this for my table cloth.

A friend from church had given me some had stitched treasures. One was the round table topper you see on the table in this video. Another was a runner with baskets of blue flowers stitched at each end and a edge of blue
crochet. I placed this on top of the denim cloth and covered both with a clear plastic table cloth. I used some blue bottles for flowers. I filled a little wagon with carrots and added a rabbit and two china ducks. A sprinkle of blue silk flower petals completed my table. Joy! I looked among my rose dishes and found three tiny tea cups. I will fill this with jelly beans and set one at each place. I think I will tie a ribbon on the handle. The little tin I purchased is just the right size to hold all my sewing machine accessories. The little plate was a special surprise. I placed it in the center of the kitchen window and wow – it has cut work on the rim and when placed in the light it sparkles, truly! I place the book on machine quilting in my sewing nook. Both my menfolk checked at our local shelter today. We miss our little dog and we hope to find a rescue that we can spoil.

Blessings and Hugs, Miss Trudy

Spring Home Touches

“Forsythia is pure joy. There is not an ounce, not a glimmer of sadness or even knowledge in forsythia. Forsythia is pure undiluted, untouched joy.”
A. M. Lindburg

February draws to a close and my thoughts turn to adding touches of Spring to my home. In the kitchen I changed my table cloth to a blue fabric with yellow roses. I placed my favorite blue bottle in the window with the forsythia flowers. My valences and sink curtain are blue gingham.
I plan to use the old milk glass bud vase with the small branches from the back yard as a carrot tree as Easter nears. I made blue and yellow patchwork potholders. My tray has a piece of blue cloth with a blue and
white doily on top. These are covered with a plastic piece cut to cover the
inside of the tray. I found a picture of a nest with little blue eggs and put it
on the shelf Patrick made for me. I found a dear little bird at the thrift shop
and placed him in front of the nest. I hung a Miss Indy quilt. I will take a
picture so you can see. Miss Indy told me that the little stitched pansy was
her signature. I am thrilled to have one of her quilts.

This brings me to today’s topic. I share with you an idea to turn a plan pillow cover into a seasonal touch in the room. I stitched a chocolate bunny that I will button to the plain pillow front. I hope to make another topper for my pillow for summer. I will take pictures of the topper as I create it just like I did for the bunny. I will also change my old postcards for antique Easter ones. If you get to an antique flea market look at old postcards that were sent as greetings long ago. Imperfect ones are really affordable and truly delightful. I use the same frame and change them out. If you want one for Halloween that will be more expensive because fewer were sent. I really enjoy collecting them because they are affordable, beautiful and my entire collection fits into one small box. Joy! Have fun and think spring!
God bless, Trudy

  1. Place pattern on paper side of fusible web.
  2. Trace pattern and cut out.
  3. Remove bottom layer of paper and place onto fabric and fuse with iron to wrong side of fabric. Remove paper.
  4. You now are ready to applique by machine or hand and add finishing touches.

Spring touches about our home.

Hand Spinning Wool

Hello. Today I introduce you to my spinning wheels; Jenny and Patience. Mr. Pat bought Jenny for me before we were engaged. My Dad was reading
his evening paper and when we arrive home bringing in the wheel, he hid
his amusement behind the paper. Mr. Pat and my Dad both took me to festivals to learn how to spin. Years later as a young family we participated
in groups recreating the fur trade era. Patrick had a skunk skin hat, Mr. Pat
had buckskins and I wore a prairie dress and poke bonnet. We camped in a
Sioux lodge. Picture if you can an old station wagon with lodge pole pines
on the roof, our gear in burlap sacks, my wheel, and us in our outfits. It made quite a picture I am sure. What a great time we had!
I encourage you to watch a good demonstration of spinning with a hand spindle. The one on yarn.com is great. My drop spindle came from
fibermillbob.com and was very affordable. If you have an old spinning
wheel be sure to oil the old wood. I use lemon oil. Many old wheel are not
complete. If you are considering investing in an old wheel, search for clear
pictures of complete wheels so you will recognize if a part is missing. To be
of use the wheels that you sit at need three bobbins. I was able to find a
woodworker to make Jenny bobbins using her original as a pattern. You
see when you spin, you only spin one strand at a time. I spin two full
bobbins and then put an empty bobbin in and ply the two strands by
spinning counter-clockwise. This makes a yarn that you can knit with or
weave with. Wool is a true miracle fiber and a gift from God.
God bless,
Miss Trudy

Thinking about Love

Today I will share some ideas for showing your love and remind you how very much God loves You! Truly!

“Lift up your face to God.” Job 22:26 Now Job had a quite a face to lift up to
God. It was red, festered, teary, grieving. He had seen sorrow and he got the tee shirt of misery. Yep! His friends were commiserating about his woes. Almighty God heard their moaning and he stepped in to ask Job a question and it was a doozy! Ready, Where were you when I made the world? Kind of puts things in perspective doesn’t it? Wow! I have been sharing how much I enjoy my writing books. The last two scripture quotations are written near the photo of me and my dad.
It was our last dance together. “Because you are precious in my eyes and honored and I love you.” Isaiah 43: 4. I prayed for my dad. I knew he was in God’s hands and I knew he was going where there would be no more sickness and his bride was waiting with God to welcome him. “Love never ends.” 1 Corinthians 13:8 I hope these thoughts warm your heart this cold January day.

I have also begun to create my valentines and some pretties for Valentines Day. Patrick took close up photos so you could see what I have been doing.
You know I enjoy crafting with old greeting cards, well I cut out a heart
pattern using the back of a card. Then placing the pattern on the front
I cut out hearts. I made a dozen different cards with glue, paper scissors and the fronts and backs of old cards. Joy!
I also made hearts using cross stitch, another was made with buttons and felt and the last was a hand stitched into a crazy patch heart. I started with scraps of fabric and placed the first piece in the center. I continued to add scraps until the piece was the size I wanted. Do not cut this pieced piece of cloth. Make a pattern a heart and use it to draw on top of the pieced fabric. Now embellish with embroidery, lace and buttons. Mine even has a blue bird pin. Now you cut out the heart shape and cut another piece of fabric using the heart for a pattern. I blanket stitched the two heart pieces wrong sides together. You can then and finished by sewing a pin or a ribbon on the back.
Lastly, I am using a grape vine wreath to create a special anniversary piece
which I will hang on the front door. I promise to take a picture when it is
done.
Oh, here is the web site information for 58,000 e books I was talking about.
https://en.wikpedia.org/wiki/projectgutenberg.org Enjoy!
Blessings and warm hearts,
Trudy

Piecing Thoughts and Dreams


The colors – blues, rusts, and lavenders radiate from the center of the quilt outwards. The play of lights and dark’s remind me of the sunlight and shadows that dappled the old porch floor where the quilt design emerged
from a jumble of fabric triangles.

This quilt would not exist if years ago someone hadn’t taken the time to share. They took the time to give me their knowledge and enthusiasm. I was taught how to sew. I learned to express my deepest feeling with needle and thread. I have sewn grief, prayers, love and joy to create a heart gift that speaks for me of my deepest feelings.


Kindness given long ago surrounds me now with color and warmth in the
form of a quilt. Think of this blog as a collection of cotton fabric scraps given to you. You spill the contents out and begin to sort the scraps that appeal to you. Colors of life experiences, interests, beliefs and gratitude are
spilled out in front of you.


At the center of all these is the dominate color of me. love. I am a daughter of God and of Albert Groff. I am a wife of 50 years and a mom. I am comfortable with this time in my life. I have peace, time, joy and great love. As you read the scraps of thoughts that I write to you, discover the ones that add beauty and richness to the quilt fabric of your life. It is my prayer that you will use these to express your true self. Use whatever medium stirs your soul. Create and grow. Discover what enriches your faith. Share
the blessing that is you with others.

Joy!
Trudy

When a woman’s about twenty,
With a baby about two,
She begins to wonder what the years will do.
Baking a cake for a community affair
She pictures herself with silver hair.

Carrying her efforts to a church nearby
A huge truck salutes with an air horn’s blare
Which confection he is complementing
She just couldn’t care.

Acknowledgement is made with a lady like wave,
But the thrill of impropriety is saved,
Put by against what the years will do.

Trudy Groff Costello

It Is Almost Christmas

Mr. Pat has been to the store and we will be having pork, potatoes, apples and sauerkraut cooked in the crock pot tomorrow. He washed the floors for me and the house is ready. I took a picture of the items I am working on. I am currently quilting the little welcome sign. Patrick’s snowman just needs a casing stitched onto the back, so I can hang it up. I think I will be able to finish the welcome sign and the pieced heart tonight. The red work hanging will wait till after Christmas. It is mine and there is no hurry. I will begin to quilt the top that the church members signed then also. I will take pictures of my progress.

This will be my last post until after Christmas. We will attend Christmas Eve services, and come home to soup and fruitcake. This has been the first Christmas that I have not been employed for many years and I have truly enjoyed the extra time. So far, I have given seven loaves of homemade bread, and cookies have been sent and given away. The delight of the oil man was so special. I tucked crochet snowflakes and red paper birds into the Christmas cards I made. Our little tree is alight and decked out in red and white treasures. The front porch makes me smile and I think it looks welcoming. I think our home and our hearts are ready. I am totally pleased with our quiet, homemade, simple Christmas. I have only been to three stores and one store I did not buy anything. Hobby Lobby supplied my red and white string, some needles and some fabric. I did buy a little snow bird on sale. He will brighten the living room after Christmas. Our main expenses were in flour, sugar, butter and eggs. Any leftover eggs Pappy turns into eggs and pan-fried potatoes supper.

Mr. Pat and I cherish our time together. Not many folks get 50 years to love each other. Before I accepted his courtship, I told the Lord I would love him, and I truly have loved and been loved in return. I have been truly blessed to have an honorable husband and to fulfill my dream of making a warm home and nurturing children.

May your Christmas be filled with blessings and time to love and be loved

God Bless,
~Trudy

works in progress
Works in progress . . .
Patrick's Snowman
Patrick’s snowman

Just a Thought

I was able to complete the items I had wanted to make for the front porch last night and I thought I would share some pictures. Both of the small pillows use the strip piecing technique that I demonstrated on Dec.14th. They both start by placing the first piece in the center of the block with the second piece directly on top and continue to flip and stitch. I found a piece of scrap book paper and I glued to the mat of my strip piece tree. I am happy with how it turned out. I will take a photo of the tree also.

While my next batch of bread rises, I checked out some resources for you. I have been saving canceled stamps for veterans for years and this would be a good time to save the stamps as the Christmas cards arrive. I will provide a website and the address to send the stamps.

I looked into sharing old greeting cards. St. Jude’s Ranch has stopped its program and is no longer accepting cards. Some suggestions I read suggested contacting nursing homes, senior centers, and church Sunday school programs. Be sure to ask first.

As I was doing this it came to me that sending a hand made card from a child would also be a really nice thing to do for veterans or seniors living in nursing homes. A phone call could answer the question of where to send them or if the center is nearby maybe you ask if you would be allowed to hand deliver them.

Time to put the bread in the pans. Tomorrow I hope to have ideas for gifts children can make. God Bless, Trudy

www.writealetter.org
Stamps for the Wounded
PO Box 297
Dunn Loring, VA 22027

strip piecing tree
duck!
strip picing pillows
Trudy's Front Porch