Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hand-stitched Quilt Flimsies

Don't send me to town on an errand!

Our town isn't large, but next to the cemetery is located a small vintage items mall/shop. (Appropriate place for DPS, don't you think?)

On the way out of town yesterday I dropped by the shop just to check out the prices on Pyrex bowls (which were waaay toooo expensive), and I found these three handsewn quilt flimsies (quilt tops).

The story is that the hand pieced quilt tops were made locally by an elderly lady. The seller could not/would not remember her name. 

All three were cheap! 
$8.00 each!

All three need repair! 

All three were lovingly sewn by hand. 

I can't take them apart! 
I can repair them!
I can iron them! 
I may even quilt them!

And Flip is with me all the way.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Vacation Postcard--28/8/79

(Refer to X on front of card.).     LAGO D'ISEO.       SALE MARASINO


Dear Mother and Daddy,
The weather is clearing from the thunderstorm we had this a.m. Yesterday it was hot, but today the weather is cool. I'm glad I have socks and long sleeves.
We had lasagna, sweet and sour peppers, beef liver, and wine and cheese in the village today. We eat out everyday, so I'm resting from the kitchen for a couple of weeks.
I found an inexpensive leather shoe shop today. We'll go back and shop later this week.
Take care and I miss you.
Love, Linda and J.
And Hi, F. I miss you. Write me.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Time to Get my Dirty Feet off the Table!

I am really trying to get into this quilting thing. While reading a few quilting blogs, I ran across the sewing machine accessory called a "walking foot." A while back my oldest niece asked if I had a walking foot, and I referred her to my mom, the seamstress in our family. At that time, I didn't have the faintest idea what a "walking foot" was.

But now I do. And one for my late 1960's vintage super high shank Kenmore sewing machine will cost $50.00. Not just any old "walking foot" will fit my machine, so I suppose that I will just do without it in quilting my quilt. My mom said she never had one, and she made lots of quilts back when. So I will do without, too.

But in the meantime, I will keep an eye out for a cheaper genuine special walking attachment for my Kenmore that has sailed the Atlantic twice in its almost fifty year existence. 

Yesterday while thrifting, I found a box containing a huge assortment of Singer sewing machine attachments and feet. No luck with finding the foot I needed, but I have spent a few hours today identifying and labeling the accessories found in that sewing box. 

Who knows? Maybe I can make someone else happy with a Hemmer or Ruffler or Tuckmarker.

[I am partying at Ivy and Elephants.]

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Shelfie #9--Love Letters

This is just one of three stacks of love letters that I am enjoying reading. This particular stack was written 35 years ago by me to my loving parents. The rest are stashed away in an old black suitcase at my feet as I write this blog.

Stay tuned for more love letter reveals later on this week.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

LL 25 augustus 1979

25 augustus 1979

Dear Mother and Daddy,

While Signor J. prepares spaghetti with ragu sauce, I'll let you know about our trip so far. We left Olst on Tuesday morning around 11:00. Traveling out of Holland and into Germany in the rain was not exactly scenic, but it was interesting. We spent that night in a German guest house near Rottweil, Germany. The room had no hot water or bathroom. Wednesday morning I went to the toilet downstairs and got locked in. I shouted "Help" and pounded on the door. Finally, the lady manager awoke and opened the door. J. said he heard me, but he thought someone was being awakened by the knocking.

Wednesday we entered Switzerland. We walked for 2 hours in Zurich and then travelled to Lucern. We walked through the shopping area looking for a store that sells Famolare shoes. We found it, but they no longer sell those shoes. Europeans don't like comfortable, ugly shoes for women.

Chapel Bridge, Lucerne, Switzerland
(photo source--

Then we drove on to Lauterbrunnen outside of Interlaken, Switzerland. We slept in a nice hotel, but the shower was only one big drip. We had a delicious steak with french fries for dinner.

Thursday morning we arose early and rode a train up the mountains Eiger and Jungfrau. We saw "real" glaciers and snow everywhere on the top of the mountains. The temperature was below freezing, but luckily I was dressed warmly. We went as high as 11,333 ft (above 2 miles). Can you believe there was actually a restaurant there? The train is the only one in the world to go so high.

That afternoon we visited Trummelbachfalle (pot holes made by the glaciers). We went inside these pot holes with the waterfalls only inches away spraying our faces. 

(photo source--

You can guess how frightened I was. Later we travelled back to Interlaken and then through two mountain passes in the fog and rain. I was a nervous wreck. J. was mad because we couldn't see the panoramic view, and I was GLAD I couldn't see the scary ride.

Thursday night we slept in a quaint little guest house with a pitcher and wash bowl and no hot water. It is strange that they had handworked lace sheets and a delightful feather comforter, but a dinky toilet on the 2nd floor.

Friday morning we rode on another pass through the fog. Then we entered Italy, and the weather immediately cleared up and got warm. We walked around Milan and had some famous Italian gelati (ice milk).We arrived here in Iseo, Italy around 4:30 p.m. And came to the house but the guests were still here. So we stayed last night in a hotel by the lake. The view was beautiful across the lake to the neighboring island. Last night a terrible thunderstorm hit the area around 9:00. I think I even heard hail, but I was afraid to look out to see.

This morning we shopped for groceries and came up the mountain to the house. The guests were still here, but they left about an hour after we arrived. J. and I worked for a couple of hours setting everything up for us. We even put up an aluminum and plastic swimming pool that is filling with water over night.

I had time to get a little sunburn on my arms while sitting on the balcony. The temperature was about 78 F in the shade, but the breeze makes it feel cooler. Tonight the temperature is in the 60's.

J's spaghetti wasn't his best, but it was filling. We'll stay here tomorrow (Sunday) since there is too much traffic in the village. Monday we'll do some shopping and sightseeing.

It is good to have my own guide and translator. He can get along anywhere. I'm understanding more Dutch. Hopefully I'll begin my class when we return.

Well, my handwriting is getting worse so I'll stop. Please don't forget the money transfer from my savings to my checking. I will need it Sept. 10.
Tell everyone hello, and I'll write again next week.
Love, Linda

Friday, August 22, 2014

LL 27 juli 1979

27 juli 1979
10:00 a.m.

Dear Mother and Daddy,
Before the sun gets too warm, I'll sit in it and write you a few lines. From the balcony I can hear the dentist's drill, check out everyone's laundry, and read grafitti on the wall enclosing the apartment complex! It is unusual to see open windows, but with the warm weather yesterday and today I see a few.

I received your letter of July 18 yesterday. I can't understand why it takes your letters 2-6 days longer than those that come from Baton Rouge. Maybe Alexandria is an out-of-the-way place? 

Before lunch I will walk to the city center to shop for MV's birthday present. She is the wife of J.'s best friend. I don't know what to buy. Maybe something for the kitchen. She has one boy 1 1/2 years old and is expecting another baby in January.

J. apologizes for not writing. He said he will try to drop you a letter soon. If you have a chance, you might write Mr. and Mrs. S. a short note. They have been very good to me. Last week-end they took me shopping (we bought cheap meat) and they bought me some plants. Also, they keep my refrigerator stocked with fresh vegetables from their garden.

Tomorrow we go back to Olst to visit with the Italians and J.'s parents. We will go have dinner in a Chinese/Indonesian restaurant. I hope I have eggrolls. I want some Mexican food so bad I can taste it, but I'll just have to wait until Christmas.

I will see about interviews Tuesday. If I don't get a teaching job, we will leave on August 18 for a vacation in Italy. I want the job, but I want to go on vacation, too. I have mixed feelings.

I baked whole wheat bread on Tuesday and it was beautiful. It didn't taste too bad either. We finished it last night with bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes. That was J.'s first BLT sandwich. It passed the test. Tonight we'll have ribs. That is his favorite.

I'm doctoring fever blisters on my lip and in my nose. Maybe I got too much sun, but nothing else is blistered. I just hope they are well by next Tuesday. Either I am getting used to the tooth pain or it is disappearing. Anyway, I haven't had to take aspirin in 4 days. But I still have to be extra careful when eating cold or hot food. I guess we shouldn't have bothered those teeth.

Well, I'll check my wash and get ready to walk a couple of miles. Take care and write whenever you can.
Love, Linda
                                                                                                                         Photo Source
Heineken Brewery in Rotterdam

[Our apartment was built on the former site of the old Heineken Brewery in Rotterdam. Interestingly enough, our home in Zoeterwoude was just down the road from the present Heineken Brewery. And why I was baking bread is still a mystery to me, since the Dutch bakers make the most delicious bread. Fresh every single day and any kind you can imagine. Plus, our apartment was located just steps away from the most wonderful small bakery, cheese store, and butcher. Was I just being domestic or trying to fill up my time?]

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Postcard 24 juli 1979

[Cornelis Kaay (geb. 1905) Dorpsgezicht Nieuwe Niedorp. Collectie Westfries Museum te Hoorn]

24 juli 1979

Dear Mother and Daddy,
Had liver, onions, and homemade bread for supper. Wish you could have been here. J. is oiling and repairing my sewing machine. Hope it helps. 
Have received many letters from students. I will miss those kids the most when school begins. Will see about job interview next week. Keep your fingers crossed.
Had a nice weekend in Olst. Heard 4 languages on Sunday. What confusion!! Maybe we'll go there again this coming week-end (28-29). I'll write more later. 
Love, Linda

[Luchtpost/Par Avion 50 guilder cents stamp. By the way, I am still using that Kenmore sewing machine that is now 44 years old and has crossed the Atlantic twice--once by mail and once by freight. Before I left my teaching post in Baton Rouge in the spring of 1979, most teachers in East Baton Rouge Parish were On Strike. With my impending move to Europe, I could not afford to Strike. So I crossed the picket lines every morning to get into school. Needless to say, I received my pay, but I lost most of my friends. :(( What a way to say, "Farewell." And the 4 languages--Dutch, English, Italian, and French. Maybe there was even some German thrown in for good measure.]