Sunday, June 26, 2016


Here is PART TWO of my post on Brian Haggard's new book "The Crazy Haberdashers's Inspiring Life."

In this book, he is telling stories through his embroidery.  One of the stories is about how an antique Log Cabin Quilt became a chapter not only in MY life, but in HIS also and really, you can't make this stuff up!  (And, this is the long version!)

 Several years ago, I found this antique Log Cabin quilt at one of the local flea markets.  It was in various stages of decline and when I first saw it, I figured it didn't have a lot of life left in it.  I walked around the store and eventually went back to it, thinking it was so beautiful that no matter what condition it was in....I could just look at it and enjoy it for however long it would last.  It's ancient.
And, falling apart.  And, so beautiful.  It was $6.00. 

 I brought it home.  I had it hanging on the wall for a while.  Then, I folded it up and put it away.  Every once in a while, I'd take it out and try to figure out what to do with it.  I posted on my blog that I was thinking about cutting it up and making other things from it.  Boy, people don't mind telling you that would be sinful.  Really? 

So, I put it away again, but kept thinking about how to rescue it's good parts.

Here you can see the condition it was in.  This Log Cabin is done in the Court House Steps pattern, but on two sides were blocks in the Pineapple pattern.  I'm sure it had something to do with how much fabric was available...something like that, but these days, no matter what, I'm sure we would call it a 'design decision.'

And here.

There are some parts in pretty good condition, considering. 

So, figuring out what to do with it was on my mind all the time.  While all this was going on, I became acquainted with Brian Haggard.  I had purchased his first book and was an instant fan of his.  We had many phone conversations.  Last year, he and his partner, Kevin, came for a visit.  While we sat around my dining room table (along with my friend, Jim G.), I quietly made up my mind that Brian was going to get half my Log Cabin Quilt.  As easy as that.  Before they left (which was entirely too soon!!), I handed Brian a pair of scissors and asked him to cut the quilt in half.  He was to take half and leave me half.

I have not regretted that decision at all.  

A little time passed and Brian shared a photo with me of a small quilt he had made from that Log Cabin.  Having cleaned it and repaired it a received a new life.  Next, he told me of other things he had made from parts of the quilt.   I was just amazed.

Then, lo and behold, he says he is doing a quilt book that will be published in France and in it will be something made from that quilt that he had decided to do "in tribute" to my husband, Richard, affectionately called the "old navy man" to all of us.  A name he gave himself, years ago, and which family and friends call him to this day.  He is know by that name on my blog.  If you read my posts very often, you will have heard it many times.  

Well, I hadn't SEEN this tribute, but after the book people came to Brian's home to make photographs, he sent it to me.  And, I was blown completely away.  A big box arrived and in it was an embroidered piece beautifully displayed in a glass case (which I have called a cabinet, I don't know why).  I was so touched.  Brian had never met the old navy man, but you'd never know it.  It
is very sentimental and very touching.  I cried, of course. 

 A page from the book....
 Here is the small quilt Brian made by rejuvenating pieces of the Log Cabin quilt.  Being used this time as a table cover....beautifully, of course.

 And, here is another, beneath one of his original quilts.
I'd say he did give new life to that quilt just by these small quilts.
But wait....not only is Brian full of talent...but he is also full of enthusiasm.
Knowing that about him, I knew he would use every single little piece of that quilt.  And, he sure did!

 So, here is the section of the book containing the story and the photos of the old navy man's tribute by my friend, Brian.  I consider it an heirloom.

 This is a page from the book...where you can see the 'cabinet' and also tell that there is a Log Cabin Quilt square in it.  More to come regarding that.....

What I didn't know was that Brian also made a Heart for me.  Yes, the entire world knows I love HEARTS!    He took one of the blocks and made this beautiful heart....Embroidered with the word "Friends" and some other stitching.  Ribbons, that adorable clock button in the center and, how did he know....I've wanted one of those Frozen Charlottes for quite a while.  One of my favorite parts...the covered button, using a very tiny fragment of the quilt scraps to make a very attractive way to hang the heart.  Brian loves details and I do too!!!  Another heirloom and to me, a TREASURE!

Here is the page telling about the heart.  The pattern is in the book too.  I think I'm going to make one.  Just so I can try it myself.   Maybe I'll make to keep, one to give away.
 With pieces from that very well loved ancient quilt!


So, now I want to show you where the embroidered tribute that Brian made's right here, in my bedroom/studio.  There in the corner is where I knew it would go.  The old navy man's ashes are in that box.  His request was for me to find an old box and 'fix it up' for his ashes.  There is a story behind that which I may or may not tell at some point.  Depends on whether you want to hear it or not.  Let me know, if so.   I have been happy to see how many people visiting my home actually want to know the story...I love that and he would have loved it also. ♥

 Here you can see the 'cabinet' opened....because of the glare from the light.  It is a very special tribute made for a special person by a special person.  I love it!

 This is so hard to see....but it looks great in the book!  Not only is it a very thoughtful piece of work, but it's also very tactile...being a very delicate and ancient piece of cloth and thread...I do touch it now and again!

Click to see these larger, if you haven't already.  Sure makes a difference.  Isn't this just the most thoughtful, generous thing a person could do?

 And, now you see why I have a special connection to the book and to it's author.
The old navy man would love this embroidered tribute, and would have been overwhelmed by the thought and care Brian gave to honor him.  And, not to even mention.....all this in a book, written by a man he never met....and published in France.  He would be thrilled. 

 So, now, you are going to ask...what have I done with my half? 

 Ah....well, not one thing, but I do realize now that I have to at least have a wall hanging out of a few things to share.  Many new lives still to come for that quilt.  Who knew?  I think, in this case, cutting the quilt in half was a wonderful thing.  Spreading the love of making that quilt into beautiful things to be loved by many more people...just multiplies the love, right?  Now, how could that be wrong?  I often wonder about the person who made this quilt, lo, those many decades ago.  He or she could be having a nice conversation right now with the old navy man about how we have all been touched by it in one way or another.
Me, I have that lovely embroidery to remember a special person by, I still have half of the quilt....and I've made a lovely new friend for life too.  It just can't get any better than that!!!


(Remember, ordering information is in my previous post!)

 Bird Nest Cottage
 until next time

Saturday, June 25, 2016


Remember, I told you I'd post about a very special new book?  And, here it is:


Published by Quiltmania
in France 

Here is the cover...please click to see these enlarged, as I cannot possibly do the book justice with my limited photographic ability.   I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this book.  I do own each of Brian's previous books and I can tell you that if Bird Nest Cottage catches on fire...Brian's books will be leaving with me!  That means I am terribly fond of them and using a word from the title of this new book - I find them INSPIRING to the Nth degree!  If you like what I will want one for yourself!!!

 Now, Brian is one of my best friends and one of my favorite people on planet Earth, so as you can see, I get to have a special autograph in my book!  It means an awful lot to me that he took the time to make this special drawing for me!  The graphics in this book are quite interesting and add so much to the book....not to mention that the text is written first in French, then in English.  I don't understand French, but I do love to see it written on the page, so this is an added bonus in my opinion and I enjoy 'reading' it.  Beautiful!

 Here is Brian!  (I apologize for the glaring light!!!)  He is a great guy and is over flowing with talent.  I am amazed by his talent even more with each project he creates.  As you will see in this book, he is also a wonderful decorator too.  (And you thought I had a lot of stuff!!!  Wait til you see his, only he knows what he is doing!)

 Just beautiful!!  There are quite a few photos of his home/studio.  I think it would take weeks to see every little thing!!!  Beautifully displayed to the max!

 Of course, he has Crazy Quilts!!!

 I just loved this bowl and lamp full of pincushions!!  And, that little stitchery on the wall is DEAR!!!

 Oh, be still my Heart!!!  Look at this collection!  So much more beautiful in the pages of this book!

 More goodness to admire!!

There are several of these faces.  Magnificent!!!

 And, this item is one of my favorites...because...look closely in the next photo....

 The lace frame is EMBROIDERED!!!!  OMG!

 I would buy the book just to see this "up close and personal!"

 And, I love this girl!  Look at that embroidery!  So PRECIOUS!!!

See the Log Cabin quilt behind this quilt?  In my next post, I will tell you about it.  It's all about a personal connection I have with Brian.  Amazing what has become of that quilt!!   The quilt on top is quite amazing.  Have I talked you into ordering this book yet? 

 This is the cover quilt.  Quite beautiful!!!  And, of course, much prettier than any of my photos can say.  I LOVE the vines and leaves on this quilt.....of do know that green is my favorite color!  Brian's embroidery completely blows my  mind!!!

 I thought this basket on the door was just divine.....with embroidery and ribbons....I could go nuts over those envelopes tied in ribbon too.  I like to imagine they are full of other people's memories!

 LOVE the pincushion!!!

 Like I said.....text printed in French first, then English.  Makes such an interesting looking page.  And so SPECIAL!!

 My copy even has a special drawing in the back.  So dear.  Look over there to the left...LOVE seeing
the mannequin kneeling like that....I'd say grateful to live in such a place!!!

Ok, you know you want one!  For ordering your personal copy, here's how to get one:

 To order:
Brian's blog: HERE 
(You can ask for special book signing here)

Direct Order:  HERE

Tomorrow I will be posting more from this book...a very special post regarding the old navy  man, Brian's tribute to him, and something you will love called "Pat's Big Heart."  All because I gave Brian and pair of scissors and said "cut this quilt in half."  

Bird Nest Cottage
until next time

Friday, June 24, 2016

50th Anniversary ♥

JUNE 25, 1966 to JUNE 25, 2016  
Our 50th Anniversary

Bird Nest Cottage
until next time

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Stacks of Books

One of my readers, Louise, asked for the story of this stack of books.  It just happens to be one of my favorite things in the house, so I'm happy to tell about it.  I have a 'thing' about books...and love having them all over the house.  When I moved in, it was a challenge to find places for all the books.  I gave bags and bags of them away and still had probably what most would call 'too many' to deal with.  And, yet, I still wanted to keep them.  What to do?  There was little spot there....on the way into the kitchen...a blank space...oh my...can't have that, so I thought about it a while and decided a stack of books would look just great right there.  I immediately loved it and in fact, began another stack right next to it.  One with smaller books.   The fact that I haven't moved these books yet could mean that I may not ever...unusual for me. 

 Here you can see the stools I used for the stacks.  In addition to many, many books, I also have quite a few stools and foot stools.  They can be used in so many ways,  I find them indispensable and quite handy for all kinds of uses. 


 The top book here is covered in a tapestry fabric...very threadbare.  It's a very small, but thick,  a World Atlas, dated 1907.  And, the stack is a perfect perch for this little iron bird.

 This is another of my favorite books from the 'stack.'  As you know, I love basket embroideries, so the name of this one really caught my eye....dated 1892...and it had that sweet basket motif right there in the center.


 One of my favorite stacks in the house is this small one on the table by the sofa.   Smaller books, all vintage.


Here you can see them along with some other of my favorite things.  Two little birds, a flower pot filled with flowers made from book pages which was a gift made by my friend, Micah,  who left us last year, way too soon ♥.  Then, that tiny embroidered landscape I made a long time ago.  One of my favorite things I ever made.


Here's those little books with two tiny doilies on top.  Tied with a pretty ribbon and embellished with a cord bookmark with two really pretty glass beads, one on each end.

Here is a little red kid's chair.  At one point, I had about six of these.  I have shared with friends, so only have this one left.  It makes a great place to stack some books.  Then, there is that little vase...holding vintage cardboard fans.  The fans are there as I couldn't figure out where else to put them.   
That happens around here.

Not stacked, but rather shelved in a little child's hutch, is a collection of what I call my "tiny" books.
I look for them everywhere I go.  And, I had this little hutch...they seemed to be perfect for each other.  The bird clock, a gift from my friend, Patsy.  The little red wagon, a gift from the old navy man.  The cat bank, iron, is a reproduction.  All this sitting on yet another stool.



Here is one of the tiny books in the hutch.  I've placed a pair of embroidery scissors there so you could get some idea of the size of the book....the red, has a title you can read yourself and was printed in 1907.  The dark book is a Vest Pocket Webster Dictionary from 1960.  

 Again, not stacks, but since these shelves are way too crowded, I think the word stacks works.
One of these days,  I plan on going through all this 'stuff' and removing, then reorganizing it.  Keywords  - "one of these days."


 And, of course, there is a kid's chair with a stack of books!  They are everywhere! 


 These books are on my coffee table.  Yes, I DO need to do this differently.  But, for now, well - this is just the way they are.  I'm into them all the time, so they often are scattered around the table, and
because I'm OCD...I'm thinking these particular books will be finding a new home here....maybe in another old chair? 

These are some of my favorite books.  Some that have helped me accept my crazy housekeeping and "decorating" habits...pretty much convincing me that in my home...."my way" is THE way to go.
Others, assuring me that being creative in my home and also my 'studio' is important to my well-being.  I believe that my Bird Nest Cottage is my sanctuary.  It should reflect me.  And, I guess it does. 

So, there you are Louise...."that book stack" and then some.  Hope you enjoyed it.

Bird Nest Cottage
 until next time

A Bit of Heaven

A Bit of Heaven
An original designed wall quilt with my vision of heaven on earth.