Thursday, February 13, 2020

Pieces From The Past - The Lost Goslin'

World War Two officially came to an end on September 2, 1945, following the signing of the surrender documents by the Japanese emperor. The Japanese surrender became official in early August 1945. Following the death of Adolf Hitler, German forces surrendered on April 29, 1945.  Camp Trinidad closed in January 1946 and the German officers traveled to San Francisco to make their trip home.

Hans Worthmuller was the first of the men that worked for my Grandpa, Phillip, to write.  His letter, dated May 6, 1946 took two months to arrive... Postmarked July 2, 1946 in Trinidad.  You'll notice that it had been opened for censorship...

His return seemed to be a pleasant one since he easily located his wife and young son and had news of his older son and the anticipation of his release from the POW camp he was held in in Italy.

He wrote of the rations and small amounts of food.  A 1/2 pound of meat for a week?!?  I cannot, nor do I want to, imagine how difficult it was to survive on the small portions.

The US Government's persuasion of people to give up large amounts of red meats and fats actually resulted in healthier eating.  However...

Sadly, there were the food manufacturers who took advantage of the wartime shortages to flaunt their patriotism to their profit. The familiar blue box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner gained great popularity as a substitute for meat and dairy products. Two boxes required only one rationing coupon, which resulted in 80 million boxes sold in 1943. Food substitutions became evident with real butter being replaced with Oleo margarine. Cottage cheese took on a new significance as a substitute for meat, with sales exploding from 110 million pounds in 1930 to 500 million pounds in 1944.

After three years of rationing, World War II came to a welcome end. Rationing, however, did not end until 1946. Life resumed as normal and the consumption of meat, butter, and sugar inevitably rose. 

Keep in mind that while Phillip and Katie had the POW workers at the farm the rationing restrictions were in place.  How did they feed, not only their family  including three hungry boys, their daughter, son-in-law and grandson, but also the "boys" from the camp?  They had a large garden that I imagine all of the veggies came from.  Grandma was an excellent cook... Hans fondly recalled "her skillful cooking" in his letter.  

One of my older cousins (the 3rd grandchild of Phillip & Katie, and first grand-daughter) recently shared her memory... 

"Eating lunch or dinner was like going to the Golden Buffet! She made a least 3 meats,4-5 vegetable dishes including many different jello recipes. Dessert was pies, cakes, cookies, and more. But you must know this was served after us kids had been with Grandpa at the gas station where we (us kids) had a few treats!! We usually had a Nehi pop of orange or grape or whatever we wanted along with circus peanuts, orange slices, or/and a candy bar. Then, we went back to their house and were expected to eat a large plate of food. Needless to say--- I couldn't eat very much."

Here is one of Katie's recipes...

Crock Pickles

Place dill and several cloves of garlic in the bottom of the crock. Add your small to medium cucumbers. Add 1-1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar, 2-1/2 teaspoons alum powder, 2-1/2 teaspoons pickling spice. Add more dill on top.

Mix 8 cups water, 2 cups cider vinegar and 2.75 ozs of salt. Stir until dissolved. Add to the crock.

Cover with a plate and leave on the counter for 2-3 days. Test a small bite for taste and texture. When to your desire, place in jars or containers and store in the refrigerator.

They are crispy and so good.  One particular summer when my Dad had an excess of cucumbers I was making a crock of pickles on a weekly basis. And the girls were munching on them as snacks in the middle of a hot afternoon.  SO. GOOD!  FYI, these are not the typical cucumbers that you find in produce department.  Well, they are, but just much smaller... about 4-5 inches long and they will feel kinda pokey, but the pokey things brush off when you wash them.

While Hans recalled the fond memories of what could have been a horrible experience as a POW, he waited for the return of his son... the Lost Goslin'.

It is a simple pattern that will come together quickly for you...  Go grab the pattern at payhip.  

Pickles... some people love 'em.  Some people not so much.  And the variety available!  Dill, sweet, bread and butter... and now'adays, even deep fried!  

Just last week I saw a post about a dill pickle pizza... now I LOVE dill pickles... and I LOVE pizza... but together??? My first thought was "that sounds gross", but then I read about it...  It doesn't have a traditional red sauce.  Rather, it has a garlic dill white sauce,  Canadian bacon, mozzarella and sliced dill pickles... Hmmm... "I may try it, just because I'm curious."  lol!  I was a skeptic about deep fried pickles at one time too.

What are your favorite pickles?
Have you ever had fresh crock pickles?  

Leave a comment... I'd love to hear from you!

Oh, and don't forget to come back to link up your Lost Goslin' block... open through March 4th.

Quilt Happy!


Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Not Much Quilting Going On...

I haven't had much time quilting lately... Oh, I have been busy with quilt-related projects, but not much time at my machine since I finished the Scrap Dance Minuet, 2019 Color Challenge and A Time For All Seasons quilts.

What HAVE I been doing???  A lot of pattern writing for the Pieces From The Past Sew Along.  Because the patterns are vintage Kansas City Star patterns that offer only templates for the blocks, not cutting sizes or assembly directions, ( sometimes they allow for the seam allowance, but often times, not) I have been making the patterns more modern by offering cutting dimensions and assembly instructions.  It is my effort to make the piecing of the blocks an easy and enjoyable experience for everyone participating in the sew along.  I have about 10 of them ready to go and could use some help testing them and proof-reading them.  Interested?  Leave a comment and be sure to let me know how to contact you via e-mail.

By the way... the first block - The Signature Block - is still available and the second is scheduled to be released on Thursday - February 13th. 

There is nothing more frustrating than having a block that doesn't come together right, or end up the correct size.  One of the biggest challenges I had was figuring out if the template printed in the paper actually measured 2-3/4" or should it be 2-5/8".  Some of the pieces really are unusual sizes.

One other thing I could use some help with is translating a church record of some sort.  I believe it is in Russian and am curious about what it says.  Again, if you are willing to help me out, leave a comment and way to contact you.

Moving on.... Last weekend I was supposed to be away for a "girls weekend"... it was to begin late Friday afternoon... but it snowed overnight on Thursday and continued in the morning... and the roads were a MeSs!  

I had planned on taking my scrapbooking supplies and pictures to work on getting caught up by completing 2016 and 2017.  When the announcement of the delay arrived I decided that I would start scrapping then... 

In just 3+ hours I had six months of memories assembled in a storybook fashion.  Yay!  Progress...

The next morning the announcement arrived that the weekend hostess would be ready for guests at the cabin by 10:30 a.m.  I loaded up my bags and eyed the mess of scrapping supplies spread out on the cutting table in my studio... Ummm... no that is not going to happen!

I grabbed my "go bag" of hand sewing projects that I had started for our upcoming road trip.  It consists of the National Parks Postcard blocks designed by Rachel Lee at Fiona Sandwich.  

As seven of us that braved the sloppy road conditions and threatening weather forecast for more snow on Sunday enjoyed conversation, wine, laughter, snacks and meals for just 24+ hours I stitched...

I completed the blocks needed for the first section of our Camping Journal Quilt - 2017.  It was the beginning of our love relationship with a truck camper.  

We were actually only borrowing the camper from a neighbor to decide if we wanted to purchase it from them.  We spent a few days at a KOA Kampground in Ouray, CO, headed to the Mesa Verde area and then to Pagosa Springs.

I had several of the blocks already done and just needed to fill in a few blanks...

A Teepee, squash blossom, some colorful mountains with a grey sky and a campfire.

I can now assemble the first row!  I also have 16 other blocks in kits and another 8 that are ready to be prepared for the kits.  I love the versatility of these blocks as they can be used for various National Parks, as well as State Parks and camping in general.  

So, as you have seen, there has been some quilting related stuff going on, but I just don't have much to show for it.  As I stated... the Signature block is still available AND you have a few days to link up for the give away drawing of the first fat quarter.  Go grab your pattern and head to your sewing machine.  It is a really easy (and quick block) that you can have done in about an hour.  Tag me in your photo on instagram and use the hashtag #PiecesFromThePast, share to my facebook page or email it to me - if you aren't sure how to get linked up and I will take care of it.  

What have you been up to?  
Leave a comment... I'd love to hear from you!

Quilt happy!

Melva Loves Scraps - Home of the Pieces From The Past Sew Along
that features vintage Kansas City Star quilt blocks!

Linking with:

Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate
What I Made Monday at Pretty Piney
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Colour & Inspiration at Clever Chameleon Quilting
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

Monday, February 3, 2020

A Time For All Seasons Finish

My most recent finish was the block of the month from Sew Incredibly Crazy and Friends...  A Time For All Seasons.

I had a layout but I was in a quandary about how to finish it... sashing strips or not???  Seasonal fabrics?  Just a neutral fabric?  Checkerboard? 

And then I was in the shower thinking of what I might do in the studio when I got out... and an idea hit me!  

I had a batik charm pack and there was just enough to be able to make sashing strips and make it a gradual transition in colors to the next row...

You may notice that some how I managed to get a few out of order... Ooops!

The purple, orange and green on the left got mixed up, but I put them in their proper places before it was quilted.  

Life (well, house projects actually) got busy and crazy with a need to (my husband's need) paint the master bedroom... 

But in between needing my help, I did find some celebratory fabric (in my stash) that featured balloons.  I thought it would great!  Despite auditioning the fabric as a border... when I had a 4" border on the top, I hated it!  **Ugh**  

I cut it down to 2" and placed a soft blue as an outer border.  All better... it toned it down and calmed it down like magic... Whew! 

I did my "go-to, no-brainer" free-motion loops for the quilting and fell in love with it even more with every loop completed as I grew closer to it being completed.

I had thought (several months ago) "what  fun to use seasonal fabrics as the binding."  I pulled out scraps from the many seasonal scrub tops that I made my daughter and found all that I needed.

I had snow flakes, hearts, shamrocks and more!

And then I called one of my besties who has a skillful eye and a love for photography.

It was a COLD snow covered morning but we bravely headed to the public library and she snapped away!

Just look at some of the shots she captured!  

This one is my absolute favorite 💓

We had such fun driving all over town looking for brightly colored/playful back drops...  It was nearly as fun as all the random thoughts and memories I recalled when making the blocks!  

Thoughts of conversation hearts for Valentines day, the shenanigans that my hubby and his brothers pull when together and topsy turvey Easter baskets when our girls were little...  the poignant memories of pinwheels at the Alzheimer walks in honor of my Dad, fun in the sun as we camped at the Great Sand Dunes... and so many more!

Dave and I enjoyed a few nights of sleep under this beauty since we slept in the guest room while we had our room torn apart.  She is well broken in and I can attest to her warmth and comfort.  😉

What do you do when you are less than thrilled with the look of a border that you think "would be perfect", but isn't?

Leave a comment... I'd love to hear your tips and suggestions.

Quilt Happy!


Have you grabbed your copy of the first block in the Pieces From The Past sew along?
Linking with:

Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Scrap Happy Saturday at Super Scrappy

UFO Busting at Tish’s Wonderland
BOMS Away at Katie Mae Quilts
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate
What I Made Monday at Pretty Piney
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Colour & Inspiration at Clever Chameleon Quilting
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation

Creative Compulsions at Bijou Bead Boutique