Stars and Pinwheels QAL – Block 2 – Flying Fan

Apron-PH (2)

Susan of Desertsky Quilting has posted the second block in her block-of-the-month series, Stars and Pinwheels QAL.  The new block is called Flying Fan.

This is an easy, fun block   I am using the blocks in this series to make a different project each month.  This month, I used four of the Flying Fan blocks – the original 12-inch block and three blocks I reduced to 7 inches (thanks to my Electric Quilt software).

I wear aprons all the time and thought a new one for the July 4th holiday was in order.  I like roomy aprons without strings at the neck or waist and with a good pocket.  I used a pattern which is adapted from a 1930s era apron I found in an antique mall.

The 12-inch block is part of the design element at the top of the apron and a 7-inch block was lined and is used as a pocket.

Apron-PH (3)

I had enough fabric left for two potholders, using the 7-inch blocks.  I like to make “slipcovers” for oven mitts and pot holders (this is how I do it).   I’ve been using some good-quality mitts/holders for over 20 years, laundering the “slip covers” as needed and replacing them when they become worn.

Apron-PH (1)

This was a good block to use in these projects and I’m looking forward to next month’s block which should be a star.  I’m already thinking what I could put in the center of the star and what the new project might be.

Apron-PH (4)

A Vintage Apron Clone

I’ve always loved vintage aprons, particularly the ones from the 1920s-1930s.  They are roomy, comfortable, cover a large area and don’t have strings to tie.  I’ve bought patterns in antique shops and online, but none of them was exactly what I wanted.  Recently, I noticed a vintage apron hanging in an antique store booth.  It seemed to be exactly the style I wanted.  I tried it on before leaving the store so I knew I had a good fit and bought it for $8 – less than most patterns.

I was hoping I wouldn’t have to cut it apart to get the pattern and I was lucky that there were only three pieces to cut – front, back and pocket – so I could easily trace around the apron onto tissue paper.

The apron was easy to assemble, using 2 packages of rickrack for the edges.

The original apron was of a thin white cotton fabric with narrow binding and beautiful embroidery.

I wanted a serviceable apron to wear to cook and clean up, and chose some remnant pieces that would stand up well in the kitchen.,

The only changes I made were to shorten the apron, make the neckline round, and to make a bigger pocket.

For $8, I still have a beautiful vintage apron to wear on special occasions and I have a very sturdy clone to put on tonight when I get ready to cook supper.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie for Mother’s Day

rhubarb-oldI like to cook and my daughters don’t, so I’m the one who fixes dinner for every holiday, including Mother’s Day.  Our traditional meal is Chicken Parmesan with bowtie pasta, homemade garlic bread and Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (with apple pie for my son-in-law and grandson).



  • Pastry for 9″ two-crust pie (see my Sure-Fire crust recipe)
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 Tblsp. quick cooking tapioca
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • One pound of rhubarb cut into 1/2″ pieces (3 cups)
  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 Tblsp. butter
  • 1 Tblsp. milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Line a 9″ pie plate with half of the pastry dough.

In a large bowl combine the sugar, tapioca, salt, nutmeg, rhubarb and strawberries.  Mix gently and let rest for about 20 minutes.

Turn the fruit into the pastry-lined pan.

rollingDot with butter.  Roll out remaining pastry dough for top crust.  Place top crust on fruit, crimp edges and brush with milk.  Place pie pan on a larger sheet to catch spills and bake @ 375 degrees F for 45-50 minutes until crust is nicely browned.  Cool on a wire rack. 

In 2004, I made an apron to enter in the Warren County Fair (Lebanon, Ohio) and it won a blue ribbon.  It’s a simple cobbler style apron with snowball blocks and vintage fabric showing mothers hard at work.



On the pocket is the old adage … “A mother’s work is never done”.

neverdoneEvery year, I wear the apron to serve Mother’s Day dinner and thank heaven that it’s true a mother’s work is never done, even when all of the children have grown and left home.


Hens and Roosters

I spent the first 11 years of my life in a downtown Cincinnati apartment and had very little acquaintance with chickens, but I was always fascinated by them.  Our Grandma lived in rural Vandalia outside of Dayton, Ohio, and she had lots of chickens.  When we weren’t trying to avoid getting pecked by them or trying to chase them from the outhouse before we went in, we sometimes got to feed them.  I notice in this 1942 picture that Mother had made my little sister and me short sets for the summer.  This was very unusual because although my parents married as teenagers, my 20-something father went back to the early 1900s for his rules and he didn’t like to see his women in slacks or shorts.

We saw chickens in wooden crates in the butcher shop at the old Sixth Street market but otherwise, our only contact though the years has been at  county fairs. 

For Mother’s Day in 1994, my oldest daughter made two handpainted aprons for me which featured my favorite morning glories and a flamboyant rooster. 

After the aprons became worn, I cut out the painted portions, not being sure what I would do with them.    The remnants surfaced this past week and I made a wall hanging from one section – fusing the rooster and flowers onto a background fabric and adding borders. 

I didn’t want to put the other section back into a box for another 4 or 5 years, so I made a table cover with it, fusing and using a blanket stitch to sew it down. 

I like the bright colors and cheerfulness of the two pieces and especially like the idea that I’m able to get some more enjoyment out of this beautiful painting.

Christmas Handiwork


Thanks to two talented daughters, I have a lot of Christmas handiwork to enjoy.  Over the past couple of years the oldest daughter has made primitive Santas….



…an embroidered picture and a handpainted apron….




…a kitchen wreath with vintage cookie cutters and decorations.




The youngest daughter made some craft decorations when she was a teenager …..




…and later, an embroidered picture ….


…and just this year, an afghan that looks like rows of Christmas tinsel and snowflakes.


It’s so nice to look around the house and see all these beautiful things that the girls have spent so many hours making.