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Category Archives: Hobby Crafts

Suther Family Gathering 2018

This year the Iowa Suthers created the quilt that is our tradition to give away at the annual gathering in our home town of Blaine, Kansas. The tradition was that my sisters and I got together every year, made a quilt in a few days while catching up with each other; then, usually around Labor Day our families got together for what I named “The Four Sisters Party” and the quilt was given to whoever’s name was pulled out of the pot. We did this for 25 years. In the 26th year, my daughter and daughter-in-law, Jenea and Mary Grace made a quilt for the annual gathering for someone to win. This is our 27th year, and my brother, Jerry’s, kids did it…….Jenea traveled up there to guide them through the project.

After our twentieth year, I did a book on that tells the story of how the project came about and also includes the photos of who won the quilt those first twenty years. I probably ought to update it one of these days……click on the link below to take a look.

Twenty by Four



How to Make Nylon Flowers

The homemaker of the 1950’s was nothing if not frugal, and I’m sure Mom thought this clipping interesting and resourceful.  

I couldn’t wait to be old enough to shave my legs and wear “Nylons”, or “hose”.  There were usually worn with a garter belt (for practical reasons, not exotic) because they were stockings that came up to about three-fourths of your thigh.  They had a seam up the back and you had to make sure your seams were straight.  By the time I was a junior in high-school, you always wore them with a girdle (on my skinny little 110 lb. body!!!) because you didn’t want to “jiggle”.  Panty hose didn’t become a part of my wardrobe until several years after marriage.  Who knew we would come round to 2010 when wearing hose is out of fashion.

My first recollection of artificial flowers would be tiny papery buds on a hat.  Since Catholic women needed to cover their hair when going to church, we used that as an excuse to wear a fashionable hat.  However, the instructions in this clipping are geared towards making flowers for a corsage.  If a woman wore a corsage like this, it was likely an adornment on a suit she wore to church .  I doubt Mom or any of us girls ever really tried to make one, but I might try to now.  In 1979 my parents celebrated their 50th anniversary.  Craft stores were a new idea and Frankfort had one.  My oldest sister and I used packages of petals, centers and stems from the craft store to make the corsages for the celebration.  It was only then that the general population would debate whether to use artificial or fresh flowers for a celebration.

This clipping has some damage.  Of the three recipes on this page of the cookbook, the one for Cream Puffs looks the most familiar to me….so likely, those spills occurred while making them.  Some words either aren’t there or are hard to determine, hence the parentheses.  It likely came from the Drovers Telegram and is one where the author’s name and address are listed at the end, but no zip codes. Although zip codes were first introduced in 1944, they didn’t become mandatory until 1967.

How to Make Nylon Flowers

Mrs. L.J. Sayre asked for directions for making nylon flowers recently.  I sill send them in as they were given to me.

For the hose use a color remover that requires no boiling.  They dye with all-purpose dye.  (Cut) a (nine) inch strip of copper screen and (then) unravel. Use the wrinkled wire (for) shaping petals and leaves and (make)  nine-inch lengths (stems).  Cut nylon in three to ten-inch squares depending on the desired size of petals.  Place crinkled wire across square from corner to corner; fold nylon (half) over wire and gather base of petal, twist wire to hold in shape of a circle.

After making the desired number of petals, assemble them with a straight piece of wire for stem and space and shape petals evenly.  Wrap hanging ends of nylon with florist’s tape, wrapping it to end of stem. Make as many flowers as desired, then shape into corsage and add green leaves made the same as single petals.  Buds made by wrapping nylon over a bit of cotton make a pleasing addition.  For centers use bought stamens, pretty buttons, beads, or short lengths of floss or crochet cotton with ends dipped in paraffin or sealing wax or a tiny ball of cotton covered with nylon may be used.  Each corsage needs a yard of ribbon, half to three-quarters of an inch wide, in harmonizing color.  __Louise Schaber, Route 3, Wisner, Neb.

Getting Poinsettias to Bloom Again

I’m not really sure who Hope Needham was, but Mom must have been a fan.  There are several clippings which she authored.  At first I was sure she was part of the Kitchen Klatter staff or maybe the Jessie’s Homemaker Radio Visit magazine.  The clippings don’t really resemble something that would have been clipped from Cappers Weekly or Grass & Grain.  These may have been an earlier publication.  You have to realize that Mom came to this country not knowing any English.  She learned the language when her kids started going to school.  So, to finally be able to read the language must have been quite an accomplishment.

I remember Mom trying to “save” a poinsettia and this must have been where she got the inspiration.  So, this clipping may be from the ‘50’s when I was in grade school.  Do any of you remember Hope Needham?  If so, maybe you could tell us a little more about her.

Scan of the clipping from Mom's Cookbook

Dear Mrs. Needham:

The art of getting poinsettias to bloom without a greenhouse is quite tricky and since our African Violets (130) take up considerable space and require a lower temperature, our poinsettias didn’t give us a nice show as usual this year.  We have had the same plants grow and bloom every year for 15 years or until they became too large to get into the house.

After the plants drop most of their leaves and flowers, usually about Feb. 1, I remove them to the basement where the temperature is about 44 to 60 degrees. The last of the leaves drop off and the plant becomes dormant.  Only water the ground enough to keep the stems from shriveling, usually one a month is sufficient.

About May 1, or when the weather outside is warm and danger of frost is past, I take all the plants upstairs, knock them from the pots, remove some of the old dirt and re-pot in larger containers.  The soil mixture I use is one=third well-rotted manure or a handful of commercial fertilizer, to two-thirds by measure of black soil with a small amount of sand to make the mixture porous.

The stems are not cut back several inches, making the cut at an outside leaf bud, so that the new growth grows to the outside and makes a more shapely plant. I usually cut away most of the previous year’s growth , or the plants would be monsters in just one year.  Water the newly planted poinsettias well, and in about two weeks new growth will start.

From now on never allow the soil to dry out, but keep the plants in the sun.

I have read that the plants can be sunk in the ground somewhere, but I  never tried it, but keep them where I see them every day and can keep the soil in the pots moist at all times.  Some hot days it is necessary to water them two or three times.

By September, or when night temperatures drop to 60 or 65 degrees, the new wood has grown to 20 or 24 inches, and I bring the plants into the sun room and put them in the  south windows to get as much sun as possible.  The temperature should be about 70 degrees from now on.  A draft on the plants or insufficient water will cause the leaves to turn yellow and drop off.  By Thanksgiving the tips of the branches  will be showing color and the entire bract will be in color by Christmas. The color will appear quicker if the plants get no artificial light at night.

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