Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Win a Free Pattern Each First of the Month

Follow us and you are automatically entered each first week of the month to win a free Prairie Cottage Corner Pattern. Leave a comment on our latest post and be entered a second time to increase your chances of winning. If you sign on as "Anonymous" be sure to leave your email address in your post, so I can reach you. Be sure to sign on by the 7th day of each month at Midnight PDT.  April's pattern is StrawBonnet Sue!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Calming Tea

Sometimes I need a really calming tea to help me relax.  In our rather isolated community, 40 miles from everywhere, so to speak, I can't always buy what I want at the moment.  So, much of the food we eat, we also store, either dried, canned, or frozen.  Most of the calming teas on the market include the ingredients we put together for our product.  Here's the mix in our big stainless steel mixing bowl:

Calming Tea Recipe

Ingredients, above, clockwise from the left:

3 c. Dried Spearmint
1 c. Dried  Lemon Grass
1 c. Dried Passion Flower
1/4 c. Dried Orange Peel
1/4 c. Dried Rose Petals
1/4 c. Dried Cascade Hops
2 c. Dried Chamomile 

We bought most of the ingredients from San Francisco Herb Company.  They didn't have hops, though.  I Googled the hops and found a company in Oregon, where they grow a lot of them.  I've seen them growing in the fields on huge networks of wires some 20 feet high.  They grow on vines that go on and on.  When you break the cones apart, they leave a kind of sticky substance on your sugar.  My herb books says they have a relaxing effect.  No wonder beer used to make me so sleepy!

Hops come in small cones.  We break them apart for use in the tea.

Measuring the Spearmint.  Yum.

Measuring the Passion Flower.

Lovely Rose Petals


And Mix....

And Mix...

Put it in a 2-quart canning jar...

....and store it away.

Left to right:  Passion Flower, Orange Peel, Hops, Chamomile, Lemon Grass, Calming Tea, Spearmint and Rose Petals.

To make your cup of tea - Take up a teaspoon or so of the mixture in a tea ball.  Put the ball in your cup and pour very hot water over it.  We have a water machine that uses bottled water which also quick-heats it, and I use that.  I add sweetener to my tea but the spearmint makes it wonderfully mellow and sweet all by itself.  When I have company, I make this tea in a pot.  The stronger the tea, the more calming the effect.  It's great as a sleep aid.  Enjoy!


Friday, March 16, 2012

St Patrick's Day Feast - Vermont Style

Sons of John Donahue and Ellen McCarthy

A little Irish to it and come right back....Anthony Kearns, Boolavogue, a song of the 
first Irish Revolution.  The last two verses.......

At Vinegar Hill, O'er the pleasant Slaney

Our heroes vainly stood back to back

and the Yeos at Tullow took Father Murphy

and burnt his body upon a rack

God grant you glory, brave Father Murphy
And open Heaven to all your men
the cause that called you may call tomorrow
in another fight for the Green again 

Our Irish family side, the Donahue's came out from County Kerry to Vermont during the Famine Years, the 1840's.  They settled in the Burlington area and ran a dairy and cheese factory for many years there.  Their favorite St. Patrick's Day dinner was New England Boiled Dinner.

Here's the recipe.......

New England Boiled Dinner

For the broth, in a large stock pot:

One Ham Bone
1 carrot, cut in half
1/2 onion, root end attached to keep it together
1 stalk celery, cut in half
Water to come 2/3 of the way up the pot

Simmer until the broth is tasty, about 2-3 hours. Remove bone and veggies and bring up to a boil. 

Add the following ingredients in the order given, allowing them to boil 5 minutes between each addition:

6 Rutabagas, peeled and cut in bite-sized pieces

6 to 12 Carrots, peeled and cut in bite-sized pieces 

6 Potatoes, peeled and cut in bite-sized pieces

1/2 to 1 whole Cabbage, cut in wedges, 1 per person to be served

When the Cabbage is fork-tender, add:

Ham slices 1/4" to 1/2" thick,  to serve 6 to 8 people, or however many you have 

Let cook just until the meat is heated through.  Turn off heat.  Warm a soup tureen with hot water.  Spoon the dinner into the tureen and place it in the center of the table with a slotted spoon, ladle and tongs for serving.

Some people like the broth with the dinner, others like the dinner, dry.  It's all a matter of taste, so I keep the ladle handy, just in case.  We serve this on pyrex pie's been a tradition in our little family for all the time we've been together!  

We like it that way because it can be a little messy when you're trying to sort out the taters from the 'bagas and carrots and the ham and cabbage.


Great Aunt Abbie Donahue Carey - About 1900


 Family of John DONAHUE, Son of Michael Donahue and Mary Boyles, probably, of County Kerry, Ireland

First Generation

      1. John DONAHUE  was born about 1832 in , , Ireland. He died on 24 Jul 1915 in Essex Jct, Chittenden, Vermont. He was buried on 27 Jul 1915 in Essex Jct, Chittenden, Vermont.

 His parents are  Michal and Mary Denuhu. Found on the 1850 Census
 Milton Township State of Vermont, Chittenden County page 211.
The term " Lost Nation " is an area between the towns of Essex and Colchester
In Chittenden County, Vermont. This is the area where the Donahue home place is
located and where John Donahue and Ellen  Mc Carthy raised their family. The
following found in the Burlington Archives Church  St. Mary's  now The
Cathedral of Immaculate Conception; translated from the Latin-
    "On April 21, (1863) Ijoined in marriage John Donahoe, age 27 born in
Ireland and living in Colchester,son of Michael Donahoe and Mary Boyle and
Ellen McCarthy, age 24, born in Ireland and living in Colchester,daughter of
Daniel and Ellen Lynch. Witnessed by Charles Mc Carthy and Margaret Reagan.
Signed Rev. J.M Cloraec.
Relative to the property owned in Essex,the following are found in town records
Vol. 32 P.,218-19 Dated October 28, 1915. a deed conveyed by Sarah and Rachel
Oliver to John Donahue dated May 3, 1873(Vol., 16 pp.,71-72 ) reads partially
as follows"All and Same land conveyed to us by Probate Court as heirs of
Alexander Oliver......Said land is 50 acres a part of Lot #11, set aside for
support of schools according to Charter(Origiinal 1763) . There is an annual
rent of$7.50 so long as wood grows and water flows.Also all the tools and
equipment thereon.

Certificate of Death of John Donahue died July 24 1915, Essex, Chittenden,Vermont. Buried July 27,
Essex Junction, Vermont. According to his death certificate, John was 78 years old. This means he was
in 1837. Certificate # 28.(203)
Cause of death: Myrocarditis-Chief coontributing to old age.

Obituary:  Burlington Free Press 27 Jul 1915, page 4; age 79 years; died at home.

John married Ellen MC CARTY  daughter of William MC CARTY and Ellen LYNCH on 21 Apr 1863 in Burlington, Chittenden, Vt. Ellen was born about 1840 in , Ireland. She died on 3 Apr 1914 in Essex Jct, Chittenden, Vt. She was buried on 6 Apr 1914 in Essex Jct, Chittenden, Vt.

Death Certificate of Ellen (McCarty) Donahue: died April 8, 1914, Essex,Chittenden,Vermont. She was

69 years old but not aboslute.

Cause of Death: Myocarditis- Chief- contributing to old age. Buried in Essex Junction, Vermont, April 6,
Certificate # 28(136).

Obituary:  Mrs. John Donahue; Burlington Free Press; 4 Apr 1914; born County Cork, Ireland; came
to this country as a young girl; buried Holy Family Cemetery; Essex Jct., Vermont.

John and Ellen had the following children:
               2 M        i.  Thomas DONAHUE  was born on 11 Jan 1864 in Essex, Chittenden, Vt. He died on 1 Dec 1936 in Essex Jct, Chittenden, Vt.

Death Certiificate of Thomas Donahue died December 1, 1936 at 4 a.m. Pearl Street,
Essex Junction, Vermont.
Thomas was 72 years, 10 months,  23 days old. Certificate #184

Thomas married Josephine CHAMPAIGNE  on 6 Jun 1887 in Burlington, Chittenden, Vt.. Josephine was born about 1864 in Burlington, Chittenden, Vt..
               3 M        ii.  Daniel DONAHUE  was born on 13 Oct 1866 in Essex, Chittenden, Vt. He died on 5 Nov 1866.

This child is a twin of child #3

               4 M       iii.  No Name DONAHUE  was born on 13 Oct 1866 in Essex, Chittenden, Vt. He died on 5 Nov 1866.

 This child is twin to child #2 and has no recorded name.

               5 F       iv.  Abby DONAHUE  was born on 26 Oct 1867 in Essex, Chittenden, Vt. She died on 24 Jul 1956 in Colchester, Chittenden, Vt. She was buried on 26 Jul 1956 in Holy Fam Cem, Essex Jct, Chittenden, Vt.

Death Certificate of Abbie (Abby)(Donahue Carey died July 25 1956, Colchester,
Chittenden, Vermont
Abbie was buried on July 26, 1956, Holy Family Cemetery, Essex Junction, Vermont.
Certificate # 155.
Cause of Death: Acute Pulmumnary Edema- 6 months.
Abby was a retire nurse.

Abby married Mahlon CAREY .
               6 M       v.  William C DONAHUE  was born on 3 Oct 1869 in Westford, Chittenden, Vt. He died on 29 Dec 1944 in Colchester, Chittenden, Vt. He was buried on 2 Jan 1945 in Essex Jct, Chittenden, Vt.

Death Certificate of William C Donahue died December 29 1944, Essex, Vermont.
Buried January 2, 1945,

Essex Junction,Vermont, William C. was 75 years 2 months 26 days old at his death.
Certificate #155.
Birth Certificate of William C. Donahue, born October 3, 1869, Westford, Vermont.

William married Martha MC CUEN .
               7 M      vi.  Michael Frank DONAHUE  was born on 5 Jan 1872 in Essex, Chittenden, Vermont,USA. He died on 11 Aug 1946 in Colchester, Chittenden, Vermont,USA. He was buried on 13 Aug 1946 in Holy Family Cem., Essex Jct, Chittenden, Vermont,USA.

Copy of the Death Certificate of Michael Frank Donahue died Agust 11, 1946 at
Fanny Allen Hospital,
Clochester, Chittenden, Vermont. Buried August 13, 1946, Essex Junction, Vermont.
My great grandfather
was 76 years old when he died.
Volume 30 Page 97J
Disease or condition directly leading to death: Congestive Heart Failure- 5 weeks.
Antecedent Cause: Arteriosclerotic Heart Disease- 10 Years.
Burial: August 13, 1946, Essex Junction, Vermont.
Birth Certifiate: Michael Donahue born Jan. 5, 1872, Essex,Chittenden,Vermont.

Michael married Elizabeth C PILON  daughter of Phillip PILON and Sarah LASHUA OR LEJOI on 1 Sep 1898 in Ferrisburg, Addison, Vt. Elizabeth was born on 5 Sep 1877 in Charlotte, Chittenden, Vermont,USA. She died on 7 Jun 1944 in Jericho, Chittenden, Vermont,USA. She was buried on 10 Jun 1944 in Holy Family Cem., Essex Jct, Chittenden, Vermont,USA.

The following information was found in Elizabeth`s prayer book that she had
recorded about her son`s birth`s ;
           Wm. Charles born Tues. 12 Dec 1899 at Ferrisburg, Addison Vt.
           Robert John born Sat. 23 May 1903 Ferrisburg, Addison, Vt.
           Harold Bernard born Mon. 5 Mar 1906 at Essex, Chittenden, Vt.
           Richard Michael born Wed 20 Dec 1911 at Essex, Chittenden ,Vt..w
           Robert Earle, grandson, 7 June 1923 Essex Chittenden Vt.
Death Certificate of Elizabeth C.(Pilon) Donahue, died June 7, 1944, Jericho Corners,
Chittenden, Vermont.
Buried June 10 1944, Essex Junction, Vermont. Volume 30 Page 89.
Cause of death was due to Carcinoma of large bowels acsending colon.- 3 years.
GreatGrandma Donahue was 67 years old at the time of her death.
Birth Certificate of Elizabeth C. (Pilon) Donahue, born September 5, 1877, Charlotte,
Chittenden, Vermont.
Her parents were Phillip Pilon and Sarah Lashway.

               8 M      vii.  David George DONAHUE  was born on 3 Sep 1874 in Essex, Chittenden, Vt. He died on 12 Sep 1918 in So Hero, Grand Isle, Vt.

Death Certificate of David George Donahue died September 12, 1918 at 11 p.m..
David George was killed by
train 52 on the Rutland Railroad at Keelers Crossing. David was 42 years 7 days old
at the time of untimely
death. He was a creamery manager. His place of death was South Hero, Grand Isle,

David married Lillian BESSETTE  in Hinesburg, Chittenden.
               9 M     viii.  James DONAHUE  was born on 15 Aug 1876 in Essex, Chittenden, Vermont. He died on 9 Jun 1931 in Burlington, Chittenden, Vermont. He was buried in Prospect Cem, Vergennes, Vermont.

The info. Found under Bapt. End. SP are Batch #

Obituary; Burlington Free Press (death notice) 7 Jan 1933, Saturday, page 5; age 56
years; former resident of Vergennes and Ferrisburg, VT; leaves his widow, one son,
John; buried Prospect Cem, Vergennes, VT, prob. 10 Jan 1933.

James married Lena MINER . Lena was born on 27 May 1881 in Lincoln, Addison, Vt.. She died on 21 Sep 1960 in Hudson Falls, Rensselaer, N.Y.. She was buried in Vergennes, Addison, Vt..
            10        M         ix.       Charles DONAHUE  was born on 24 Oct 1878 in Essex, Chittenden, Vermont. He died on 5 Jan 1880. 
Another great song for St. Patrick's Day......  When Irish Eyes Are Smilin' .... The Irish Tenors....

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Freezer Paper Applique' Technique in Pictures

Good morning!  It's not spring yet, but the birds are here.....robins, especially, doing their wild courtship flying.  My land, they are active.  What lovely sounds outside, even though the days are still chilly and rather dull in color.  One might almost wish for a little snow to brighten things up a little?  What can I be saying?

Today, I've prepared an applique'  lesson using the "freezer paper" method I like the best.  There are several different versions of this method online and you might want to shop around and try them out to see what suits you the best.  I'm using it in combination with the Fusible Webbing Applique' Technique in the block I'll be making today, from my pattern, "Eight Great Potholders", "Sue and Kitten".

Here's the page from the pattern.  Our fabric block, when finished, will be a mirror image of this drawing. 

Choose the fabrics you like for your Sue's clothing and background.  My background is white.  Her pinafore is striped, her dress is pink, her shoes and bonnet are blue.  The kitten is yellow.  Cut a piece of freezer paper (you can find freezer paper in almost any grocery store where they have paper supplies for wrapping food) a little larger than the drawing and trace each piece except the kitten.
Here is the drawing with the freezer paper overlaid.  Move the freezer paper around in order to make the best use of it in getting each piece traced out.  I usually add dotted lines to each piece where another piece overlaps.  Don't trace the kitten, yet.

  Cut out each piece and set aside.

A Little Bit of Fusible 

For the kitten, because it is a complex shape, I use double-sided fusible webbing. 

This time, I have Pellon 805 Wonder-Under but I've used other brands and weights.  This one works very well for me.  Trace the kitten, drawing on the paper-side of the webbing.  

Notice I've marked dotted lines on all my pattern pieces where other pieces will overlap, just as a reminder of where things are at as I'm going along. 

I've chosen a yellow print for our kitten, today, and ironed him, fuse-side down, to the wrong side of the fabric with a dry iron, pressing it for 5 seconds. 

  Then, I cut him out, carefully, without a seam allowance.  This is the only piece in the block that does not require a seam allowance to be added.  Where his little paw is shown in the middle of his chest, I cut on its outline so that it can drape over Sue's hand and arm in the final product. 

Back to the Freezer Paper

Iron your freezer paper shapes, shiny (or wax) side down, to the WRONG sides of your fabrics, being certain to leave room for a 1/4" seam allowance all around the outside of each piece.  I usually use the 5-second-rule on these, too, then give them a little extra press when finished.  Still, some of them come loose if they get a lot of handling.  You can actually press them again and they will stick.  Be careful not to scorch anything. 

Cut out all the pieces.

 Clip the convex curves a little but not too close to the paper.
 Using white thread (colored thread can leave dye on your pieces), baste all around the piece.
 Here is the piece, right side up, with the basting finished.  Notice I leave my knots and ends on the top of the piece for easy removal.
Here is the dress, basted.  Notice I haven't basted the side that will be under the Pinafore.

 Here is the pinafore basted, again, except for the part that will be under the bonnet.
Here are the shoes basted.  Notice i clipped deeply where the heels overlap one another.  You could make two shoes, to avoid having this rather complex shape and just stitch one overlapping the other.  It works.  Again, I've clipped the convex curve.

Now, I can lay out all my pieces on the block and mark the placement of the bottom-most piece, the shoes. I've used three little pencil marks just under the edge at the back, front and top of the shoes, so they won't show.

 I use glue to "baste" the pieces to the background.  Elmer's is fine, but there are nice fabric basting glues at your local quilt shop or online.  Use only a small dots.  Here, you see, I've used about 5 dots, being careful not to put any dabs on the basting thread or paper.  This is all you need.
 Press the shoes onto the background, paying attention to your little marks.  In about 10 minutes, it will be dry and you can go on to the next step, stitching.
 Here, I'm blind stitching the shoe in place.  Notice I've not turned the tops of the shoes under where they are overlapped by Sue's dress.
 Finished blind stitching.  Remove the basting from the front of the piece and pull the freezer paper out.
 Do the same with the dress.
 And blind stitch it in place.  Remove the basting and pull out the paper.

The pinafore is next in the layers.  Remove the basting and pull out the paper.

 I basted the hand under the sleeve in a couple of places on the back using the seam allowances that are there, just to keep the two together while I arranged the kitten..  Remove the basting and the freezer paper from the hand and the arm.   Dot the sleeve with glue and place it.  Don't glue the hand.  Don't fuse the kitten completely, yet, though, because his ear overlaps Sue's bonnet.  Just iron him to the background from the neck down.  This will help keep the hand in place until you get it and the sleeve blind stitched.  When fusing, be careful  so you don't scorch anything.  He only needs to be stuck tight enough for you to blanket stitch his edges.
With the hand and sleeve blind stitched in place, you can choose a floss you like for the kitten.  I used yellow, but a contrasting color would work, also.  I began blanket stitching the kitten at his overlapping right paw and stopped short of his ear.
 Glue and blind stitch the hat in place, letting the kitten's ear overlap it.  Then, finish the blanket stitching on the kitten and your block is done, except for embroidery details and embellishments.

 Here is the bonnet from the back of the block after the paper has been removed.  You can remove the paper from the bonnet by carefully cutting through the background to it from the back after taking out the basting thread.  Make a slit about 1" long and feel inside for the edge of the paper.  Work the paper out through the slit. 
Here she is, "Sue and Kitten". Next, I'll talk about embellishments for this Sue.   I think she's very sweet and hope you do too.  Let me hear from you about this kind of work.  Happy Stitching.