Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I&A Wedding quilt

Without further ado (and procrastination!), here are the pictures of the big project that has been going on around here :) Our family and another family that are good friends of ours have been working on this quilt quite steadily for the last few months and were able to give it to the couple on the first weekend in December. The quilt pattern and design is based off of this quilt . My goal was to make a reproduction of this original using reproduction fabrics and sticking to the orignial design and feel as much as possible. The obvious difference is the colors that we used. I do wonder though, how much the originial has faded over time and how bright the fabrics were orignially.

I drafted the block myself but really anyone can do it. It is just simple geometry :) (Note: All of these meausurements are with 1/4 inch seam allowance asumed) All I did was decide what I wanted the finished block measurement to be. For this quilt, I think we went with 9 inches because it is divisible by three. The next size up I would have considered would be 12 inches. The reason that I need it to be divisible by three is because this block is divided into 3 columns and three rows, if you look closely :) Making sure the finished meausurement is divisible by three just makes it easier in the long run. Ok, since we know the finished block is 9 inches and we have three square "units" by three square "units" in the block, we know that each finished square unit should be 3 inches. Now know that we need four 3 1/2" squares of the dark fabric and one 3 1/2" square of the light fabric per block. Now what about those triangle units? We know that we want them to be the same size as the other squares when they are finished so we just add the seam allowance nescessary to compensate for when the triangles are sewn together. That will be a half in this case. You can experiment if you need to if you are doing a different size. SO! That means we need 2 more 4 inch squares of the dark fabric and 2 more 4 inch squares of the light fabric for the 4 triangle unit squares. Once you have those 4 inch blocks, cut them on the diagonal to get 4 triangles from each block. Alternate the dark and light and then sew them together. Once you have those, you can then sew all 9 of the squares together and you have one finished block.

This quilt is a king size and I think it has over 90 blocks with 3 inch sashing, if I remember correctly :)

Just as a side note, if you are ever wanting to make a quilt from any particular aread, I have found quiltstudy.org to be a huge help! You can type in any year or design that you would like to reserach and hundreds of quilts come up! It does take some time but is really worth it! For this quilt, I typed in the years 1830-1865 and I found it quite interesting that nearly half of the quilts that came up were appliqued! It seems that applique was the popular technique when a lady wanted to show off her handiwork where as piecing was more practical for the lower classes. Material culture is so interesting :)

Anyway, on with the pictures:

Au revoir


Thursday, December 17, 2009

See you all after Christmas

Hello all,

With a Christmas party coming up this Saturday and quite a few people coming into town for the festivities not to mention all the presents that need to be made and packaged for that, I am going to be taking a break from blogging till after Christmas. I can't really post about any of my recent projects anyways so I thought I would let you know as to not leave you all hanging :) I have a major project that I really want to share with you all and quite a few little ones also!

Have a very Merry Christmas!


Monday, December 14, 2009

What a concept!

I just saw this video over at the Teaching Good Things blog and had to share it with you all! I think this man is an absolute genuis and I am so happy that I heard about this today. His ideas could really change so many people's lives!

Just a thought :D


I have been tagged :)

When I first started blogging I promised myself that I would never do a meme but here I am! My sister tagged me after all, so I just had to do it for myself :D

So here we go:

1. Thank the person who gave the award.
2. Copy the award.
3. Post it on your blog.
4. Tell seven things about yourself that your readers don't know.
5. Link seven new bloggers as recipients.
6. Notify the bloggers with comments on their blogs.
7. Keep being awesome!

Thanks for tagging me, Becca :D

1. Well, I started sewing when I was around 8 years old but I did not seriously start sewing till I was 13 or 14. My mother does not sew and I never really took formal classes so I have taught myself a lot but I also converse a lot with friends who have learned the same way as I have so we learn a lot from each other also. I think my first major sewing project was colonial dresses for a play that my friends and I were putting on. I still have great memories of those times but the dresses were cut down and made into other things a long time ago :D

2. Rebecca and I's one year Civil War reenacting anniversary was back in October! Honestly, it seems like we have been doing this as a family for as long as I can remember but it has not been very long at all! I have grown so much in my sewing projects not to mention how many friends I have gained and how much I have leared spiritually and mentally through the entire experience. I think I can safely say that it is one of THE best things that has happened to me in my short life :D

3. I have been playing the harp for almost a year and a half now and am enjoying it immensely. I played the piano when I was in grade school so that helped me a lot in how to read music but now that I am older, I practice more so that has made a huge difference. I played for a dear friend's wedding this past weekend (I promise I will post pictures once I have permission) and I was even invited back by the care taker of the church to come and do a concert. That is way out of my comfort zone but I have a friend who might do it with me so I am excited about that :D

4. I am a senior in high school and seriously considering becoming a student midwife in the next year. We shall see where the Lord leads ;)

5. My personality type is melancholy (primary) and phlegmatic (secondary). If you don't know what that is you can always google it :) It is very interesting and I would love to know what you all's personality types are!

6. On a day like this when I don't have to be anywhere early in the morning I stay in my pajamas for most of the day! I have to be at my harp lesson by 2 so I better get going :)

7. I am having a Christmas party at my house on saturday for all of our reenacting friends and we are going ice skating! I am very excited about it as it will be a more relaxed time for all of us to be there but I am still trying to figure out food and if I should do party favors. To me you can't have a party without party favors! I love making them but I would have to make nearly 50 of them......I am thinking about doing those hanging cone/ cornucopia things. Do you all think that is a good idea? I wish I could invite everyone I know in the blogosphere but alas it is impossible! :) I promise to post pictures soon after!

I tag anyone who has not done this yet and actually reads my blog :D

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Un-even 9 Patch Quilts

Hello all,

I have fallen off this blogging band wagon so fast! I guess I need to get into a routine of posting on here :) I am aiming for once a week but even that hasn't happened yet. Eventually, my friends, eventually!

Anyways, because I can't post about Christmas projects and other surprises, I am going through pictures from the past that I can show you all.

This is a friendship quilt that all the girls in our reenacting group helped put together for one of the ladies that helped found our group. I followed the instructions here but we added another row of blocks and sashing to make it more of a twin size than single. We used scraps from our dresses and other projects. We also signed all the white squares in the quilt with our names to make it more meaningful for the recipient.

Sewing the sashing and blocks together.

Pinning more of the sashing and blocks together.

Basting with Oscar's help :)

Quilting all the layers together at the quilting bee.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

09 Sheer Gown

Hello all!

I trust you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving over here in America and all across the world! I so appreciate all of you dear friends.

Lately, I have been working on Christmas presents and because I can't post pictures of those at this point, I thought I would tell you all about some past projects. I made this dress last Spring to wear for events in June and July. I really did enjoy wearing it because it was so much lighter then a quilter's cotton or homespun dress. Again, I used the guidelines in TheDressmaker'sGuide making it up with a half-high lining, gathered bodice, modified bishop sleeves (on the bias), v- neckline and a basic 4- panel skirt. The bow and belt are silk taffeta and the collar is a basic batiste.

Photo courtesy to Hannah.

My straw hat is from Mrs.Parkers Millinery.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday Thoughts

Hello again,

I just wanted to stop in today and say Happy Thanksgiving! We already have a pumpkin pie, apple pie, green bean casserole, sweet potatoe casserole, pecan pie, shortbread cookies and punch made! We still have lots to do tomorrow but since that much is done it won't be too much work :) What preparations have you all made?

In other news, I have been seriously contemplating this and am quite amazed at this. It is so beautiful and would be lovely to keep warm in on those chilly mornings at events :)

I am also drinking a cup of tea with a homemade shortbread cookie. *bliss:


Bethany Lynn

Rebecca's Purple Dress

Hello Everyone,

My sister told me today that a few people asked about her purple dress over on her blog. There are a few pictures in her post about our last event, Remembrance Day. I will include a few here just for clarification :)

Basically, she made the dress with my help and a friends. The skirt has four panels and is gauged to piping and the gathered bodice. We use the instructions from Elizabeth Stewart Clark's Dressmaker's Guide I think the question was more specifically about the sleeves though.

So, using the Dressmaker's Guide on slim sleeves (I can't say exactly how those are made because of copyright reasons so just use a close fitting sleeve pattern), I drafted those up as usual as a base. Once I had those cut out I started on the rectangle that is attached to the slim sleeve and gathered at the elbow and armscye. This sleeve is not for warm weather so keep that in mind :) So cut out your rectangle. The size doesn't matter that much as long as it is wider than your slim sleeve at the elbow and armscye and as long as you would like it. I do recommend cutting these pieces on the bias as the slim sleeve will be easier to wear and the rectangle on top will drape better. Now, all I did was gather the top and bottom edge of the rectangle and lay the rectangle right sides together on top of the slim sleeve. Lay it so that the bottom of the rectangle is where you want it to be attached near the elbow. You might have to measure a bit. Now sew straight across below the gathering stitches, flip it up and baste the top of the rectangle to to the top of the slim sleeve. Turn the complete sleeve right sides together to sew the under arm seam. Hem the cuff edge and then you set it like you would any other sleeve. I hope this helps some! Let me know if you all have any more questions or if I can make this clearer :)


Bethany Lynn

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Remembrance Day 2009

Ok, here are pictures as I promised!

Basically, Remembrance Day is a parade in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania specifically dedicated to reenactors and to remember what they do. Military and Civilian units from the area walk in the parade and many people come come out to see it :) We represent the Pinkerton Agency from the time period (aka Union spys) along with the US telegraph service. This event really represents a landmark for me because my family's basic Civil War wardrobes are finished (!!!). There are some things that we would like to add but we don't have to go to an event and freak out before hand any more because we all have the basics. It has taken a while, but we are all now at this point. YAY!

Waiting for the parade to start! You can kind of see my sister's paletote in these pictures. I helped her use the Period Impressions paletote pattern. We changed it up quite a bit and hope to share more information on that also.
Some letters were falling off of our flag so we had to sew them back on. Note to self: Bring emergency sewing kit :)

Wool Vest: DeVere's Draft
Wool Sack Coat: Homespun Patterns Linen Trousers: Past Patterns
Tucked Shirt: Past Patterns
Cravat: Corner Clothiers
Hat: Dirty Billy Hat's
By the way, he was also waiting for the parade to start :)

Waiting to start walking. Can you tell that this event was a lot of hurry up and wait-ing type stuff? =)

Wool Paletot with Velvet trim: Kay Fig
Cotton Dress with Gathered Bodice: Dressmaker's Guide
Robert Land Boots
ETA: My hair took me about half an hour (with my sisters help) and I do have a hair comb back there that was a gift for my birthday but that will have to be another post!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Busy times

Hello all,

You might have guessed it but these have been busy times around here! Today seems like the official start of the Christmas season because we made or first batch(actually 6 batches) of Cranberry Chutney. The house has been smelling simply lovely as there is nothing like cinnamon and orange together :) I made another batch of granola bars a few days ago and need to make some more soon.

Tomorrow we are going to Remembrance Day in Gettysburg, PA! This is the event I have been busily preparing for as it marks the beginning of the cold weather season reenacting season for us. I am very (!!!) happy to say that all four pieces of outerwear have been completed and are hanging on hangers. My sister finished hers just a half hour ago. It needs trim as does My mother's but that will wait till the next event :) I decided to push myself and make my dad a wool vest so I still need to put buttons and buttonholes on it before I go to bed tonight but other than that I don't technically have to do anything. I could come up with nearly half a dozen garments that would have been nice to have done but I simply don't have any more time. Anyways, since we are going to Remembrance Day tomorrow and will be all decked out, I can actually show you all pictures of the finished garments. It might take me a while to post them all as it is quite a bit but I promise I will because I will have absolutely no excuse :)

Now that Sarah has posted about David's Overalls, I really would like to make a pair for my dad. They seem like such a universal garment and one wouldn't have to worry about getting a nice pair of trousers dirty. What do you think, Dad? So much to think on :) My list for garments for my dad is getting really long!

My grandparents are coming in on Tuesday for Thanksgiving so we have been also been busily preparing for that :) I hope to update on those festivites also.

Bethany Lynn

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I was going to update but....

I promise! I was going to give you all an update on some sewing projects past and present (and even include pictures!!!) but I just read a post by Katie and am moved as always. Maybe tomorrow I will think about sewing but tonight I am thinking on this.

Bethany Lynn

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Granola Take 1

Lately I have been trying to eat the smallest amout of sugar possible. Honestly, it can be rather hard considering that nearly everything that comes in a box/bag has added sugar or artificial sugar added. Today I wanted something that would satisfy my sweet tooth but still not have any processed sugars in it. So I came up with granola! It seemed easy enough anyways :) I found the recipe
here. As Katie suggested, I used peanut butter in place of the butter and added cocoa instead of chocolate chips unlike with some dried cherries. Yummy!

I learned that I really am a messy baker while doing this. I got cocoa on my shirt (Note to self: where apron even if it doesn't seem like a dirty job.) and oats and cherries all over the floor :) It did smell delicious though and don't worry! I did clean it up!

The finished product! I was going to show it on a plate cut into bars but it was so crumbly that it would have just looked like granola not granola bars!
As Always,
Bethany Lynn

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My desk on this November morning.....

This is my desk on this lovely November morning! I turned on my lamp to bring in more light on this over cast day. The next three weekends are already filled on my calendar :D I have schedules and lists taped to my wall that sadly need updating along with a map of Europe from 1648. I have my inspiration portfolio set up with a few new pictures to start the day on a creative note. A Prayer by Jane Austen and an article called Twelve Pillars of Biblical Womanhood inspire me in other ways. My current major project is my father's 1860's frock coat. You can see diagrams, pictures and a drafting book from 1859 on how to do it. I think I need a translator for that one :D I also have my knitting to keep me busy when I need a break to think on these drafting techniques. I am also compiling a shopping list of supplies I need for the afore mentioned coat. Below my desk are abandoned school books that need tending to and believe it not, I need a bigger desk because I am sitting on the floor typing this since there is no more room with all those rescources up there! Oh, and you can't really see my chair because it has another coat on it along with a mid-nineteenth century wrapper (read robe) in progress.
Another project that is in the back of my mind is writing lesson plans for a sewing class that might start in January. There is a very fine line in meshing modern beginner projects and truly learning good techniques that will last a seamstress a life time. I have a home ec book from the 1930's that does the latter but not the former. Any ideas on beginner projects that also build to more complicated ones?
Have a blessed productive day!
As Always,
Bethany Lynn

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Surprise Quilt Project

Last April a very good friend of mine turned the ripe old age of 15 ;) and I thought that a quilt for the occasion would be just lovely. I think my sister, friend Hannah and I started planning in February and while we had the top finished by the birthday party in April, it took us most of the summer to quilt it. You know how schedules can be :D We finally finished it in September. Talk about a late birthday present!

In a nutshell it is a double irish chain using scraps. We did not use any sort of pattern when choosing the fabrics but just started cutting. It was more fun this way :D Those are 2 inch squares....... a whole lot of them!

As we were sewing the blocks together, we often had all three of our sewing machines going at once and it was rather loud.:D

I used the instructions on a website called Quiltville. Unfortunately, I can not link directly to the page because the site seems to be down right now. I will post more info when it is back up :) ETA: I used these instructions. It is the third quilt down on the page.

Me basting all the layers together. The back is a sheet :D


As Always,
Bethany Lynn

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Hello all,

I typed in Enya on www.pandora.com and am listening to some lovely music whilst knitting Christmas gifts.

My cat sits next to me and purrs.

God's simple blessings are profound.

Have a joyful Lord's Day!

As Always,
Bethany Lynn

Thursday, October 29, 2009

All my projects have no sleeves!

Well, I said it, all my projects have no sleeves :D Before I begin, I will add that I hope to post pictures ASAP!

~My dad's sack coat is sitting over here with the body all finished minus the sleeves. I have them cut out but I am still contemplating how to put the cuff part together. I could just do a facing but I think a functioning button with facings would be nice.

~My brown wool paletote (with matching silk taffeta lining!!!) is hanging on my dress form also with out sleeves. It even has trim (all 9 yards hand stitched on.....) which I adore to no end! I know what I want the sleeves to look like but I am not sure how to draft them yet. I will let you all know how that goes :D

~ Lastly, I cut out my mother's paletote! I have to admit, sadly, that at first it looked like a burka. It was much too long (nearly as long as her dress!) and very ill fitting. I had to take in the back along with the sides and add darts in the front. It is looking much better now ;) I have it all hemmed and the lining is also put together and all hemmed. Just a tip for you all: If you are working with wool and putting a silk taffeta lining in it, make sure to cut the silk taffeta lining larger!* Silk taffeta has absolutely now give where as wool stretches very easily. So if you use the same size/pattern to cut out your outer fabric and your lining you will find that your lining seems much too small. I recommend cutting your lining to the next size and things go together much easier. As a friend of mine would say, same song, second verse! This verse is much easier than the first (my paletote when I didn't take into account the wool/silk stretch ratio) =) While we are at it, her paletote is a dark green color. What would you all do for trim? I am thinking brown or a coordinating green but I already have brown trim on mine and I am not too crazy about green :/

As Always,
Bethany Lynn

* This only really matters if you are making a fitted garment to go on the body. A winter wool hood with silk lining won't really have this problem, for example.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A short update.....

Hello all,

I just wanted to give you all a quick update. Right now I am working away on my family's clothing for Civil War reenacting. We have several cold weather events coming up in November and December so I need to make some sort of coat for each person. I am almost done with a sack coat (casual civilian) for my dad and a paletote (no waist seam coat) for my self. I am planning on cutting my mother's paletote out very soon and I will post information and pictures on patterns and fabric ect. The big thing right now is that I am researching civilian frock coats for my dad. Right now I have the black wool fabric (most common for civilians by the 1860s) but I need to purchase the lining, padding, canvas ect. I hope to do a more detailed post on that soon also.

As Always,

Monday, October 26, 2009

In which I actually clean up.......

Hello all,

I have had to work on some major projects lately in our craft room but that involved cleaning up the place first ;) So this is what ensued.

First the closet before. Looks like someone was working with the white scraps and didn't care to put them back along with some other things.

And the rest of the room.

Here is the closet after. LOOK! There is nothing on the floor.
And while this may not be that clean to some people, it is fairly clean considering I was in the middle of working on a project on the table.
Remember all that fabric that was piled on the floor and other places? Well that had to go somewhere.
Enter game closet that is hardly ever used!

Just had to take off the door.....
Fill with fabric..... and ta-da a great place to store the fabric stash!
We have wools, linens, and the bolt of muslin on the top shelf along with some other random bits that are being stored for later use.
Civil War cottons on the top and modern cottons on the bottom.
The infamous white scrap bins along with the civil war cotton scraps. There is also batting on each side of the drawers.

Oh, and trust me, it took quite a bit longer than my words could actually express. ;) I also hope to write more about the afore mentioned projects very soon

As Always,

Many Blessings,

Bethany Lynn

It has begun!

Hello All!

I am finally sitting down to start my sewing blog on a beautiful autumn day here in Virginia! The changing seasons has reminded me to get going on cold weather projects so I hope to start sharing those with you all very soon! My hope is that I can share one of my loves with you all and that you might be just a little inspired along the way!

Blessings to you all!

As Always,
Bethany Lynn