About Blog Title...

As a child, it was one of my greatest delights to visit my grandparents in the spring when the whip-poor-wills began to call. Grandma and Grandpa lived in a remote valley of the Ozark Mountains where there were trees a plenty, and, seemingly, a whip-poor-will, or two, in each one.
My grandmother insisted that a whip-poor-will's call was not "whip-poor-will," but instead, "chip-butter-white-oak." I would listen really hard trying to hear it exactly as she said it was, but all I could hear was "whip-poor-will, whip-poor-will,..." But, I never let on to her.
I remember my grandpa watching and listening, with an amused look on his face, to one of these listening sessions. Shortly after that he began to call me, just for fun, "Chip Butter." It is a name I am proud to wear for I still love to hear that long, lonesome call on a warm summer's eve. And, sometimes, when I listen really, really hard, it seems I can hear quite clearly, "chip-butter-white-oak, chip-butter-white-oak..."


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Summer Solstice 2018...







Hello Summer and the longest day of the year ~ 14 hours and 34 minutes according to the Weather Channel!  We are thankful for a bit of rain that fell yesterday, and for cooler temperatures that blew in with the winds, so our spirits are running high today.

The sunflowers are just beginning to bloom... just in time to welcome in the Summer Solstice.  I had never grown sunflowers before, so  I am especially excited about these big gorgeous beauties.  There are other varieties starting to bloom as well, but this one is my favorite so far.  The bees are loving them too.







Now, as many of you know, summer just wouldn't be summer without visits from the grands.  Our youngest granddaughter spent some time with us this week much to everyone's delight ~ hers and ours.  While here she discovered this old dress of mine ~ the one my mom made for me to wear on my first day of school when I was almost six.  Our little sweetie here is already eight years old, but the dress still fits her fine.  I doubt that I would have been able to wear it when I was eight.  

She loved the dress and asked if she could have it.  I have no doubt that she would have worn it to rags before she outgrew it.  I told her I just couldn't part with it, but later wondered why I would keep it when she could enjoy it so much.  I know my mom would say, "Let her wear it."




But the thing of it is, that over the years, this little dress has become my reference for sewing techniques.  I study it as though it were a step-by-step sewing manual.  It was my go-to when I was learning to make ruffles using a narrow hem attachment, for Mom surely did make beautiful ruffles.





And,  when I want to make a hand-sewn buttonhole, I wouldn't think of sewing a stitch without having her examples before me.




Also had it not been for Mom's work, I doubt I would have ever figured out the continuous lap placket without a seam, which I now make in almost all the doll's dresses.




And, what about the perfectly gathered skirt, which was made, not by pulling up long stitches, but with that fancy little gadget that used to come with all machines, the gathering attachment.  One of my favorite of all posts I have written here was about this attachment, the one Mom undoubtedly used for making this little dress.








And, finally, here I am with cousin Joy on our first day of school way back when, wearing this old dress that still looks almost new.  I loved that dress then and I still do today.  And, I remember thinking that Joy's was such a pretty dress too.  It was a beautiful deep red, I remember.  My grandmother made her dress.  I wonder if Joy still has it...





So, now, we are out of here, headed to the creek with coolers packed.  We'll be there until the sun dips behind the hills for that's the way we like to spend our longest day of the year.  Happy Summer to you all...


2014 Longest Day of the Year






26 comments:

  1. Chip Butter, this is a darling post. I love your sweet little dress that you have saved for reference in your own sewing. I remember the gathering attachment. My Mama used one when she made our dresses. Your granddaughter is darling and I can just bet when she visits next time she will want to wear your dress again. I really like the spot you are enjoying on the longest day of the year. Happy Summer! ♥

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    1. For some reason, this day just seems like it should be a holiday. Mom's gathering attachment always fascinated me.

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  2. Beautiful post!
    My Mom was a master seamstress as well-she sewed everything for her home and even some of my Dad's clothes. How special that you still have your dress to pass on.
    Looks like a lovely spot-reminds me of Bennett Springs state park-what a wonderful way to spend summer soltice. Hugs to you Kathy

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    1. You, like me, was fortunate to have a mother who sewed. I am hoping my granddaughters will carry on with it. I am teaching them to sew and they are loving it.

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  3. Nice memories - I still have my christening dress; a lovely simple fine silk. tucked away safely in tissue with some of my mother's delicate cotton blouses she wore when she was a young comptometer operator. (One of the early office machines, and I'm not even sure how to spell it!)

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    1. How very special, Hildred. I think I would have to take these pieces out from time to time, if for no other reason, just to admire the fineness of them.

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  4. the little dress is so pretty and amazing you still have it. I don't have anything mama made for me when I was little, but I do have lots of things she made me in the last 20 years, including about 20 doll dresses. As she lives with me and has for the last 5 years and will continue to, I will have lots to remember. Both the dresses are really pretty and ya'll were so cute too. enjoy your day by the lake.

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    1. Martha, I think it is wonderful that your mother lives with you and helps you make clothing for your dolls. I can imagine the joy that brings to her.

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  5. I just love how your grand-daughter is wearing the same dress that you wore as a child. My mother was not one to save things; I only have my baptismal outfit. I was just the opposite...I saved all my boys things and my grands can enjoy them now. I understand your not wanting to give the dress away just yet. It is a memory and so much more! And to add the picture of your grand wearing the dress now only makes the memory that much more special. (I will remain Prairie Patchwork Quilts for now ~ my sleep deprivation continues. I am better to just follow along for now.)

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    1. Yes, I loved the pictures I took of Tilly wearing that dress. I got about a dozen precious shots. I am glad you remain Prairie Patchwork Quilts...that's who you are! :~) Sometimes I just feel like following along too!

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  6. I love the dress and the memories it brings. You can take the close up pics and use as your reference and when your GD grows out of the dress tell her it is just on loan and it is to be returned. She looks so cute in it. hugs, lj

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    1. Close up pics is a great idea! And, put them into a little sewing journal. Thank you! I really think I should carefully wash the little dress and put it away. Maybe I will let Tilly put it on one more time, though. :~)

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  7. Oh you can't part with the little dress!! She likes it to play in, but for you it holds too many memories to let it go. I have two of my little dresses and a first grade band uniform; also a picture of me in one of the dresses. I've kept lots of the girls' things and they don't seem to care anything about them. Different times now I guess.

    Wow!! The joys of retirement!! A peaceful day on the creek.

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    1. I would love to see your little dresses. And the band uniform too! I know how beautifully your mother sewed.

      Retirement? Who's retired? :~) Actually our little outing was a combination of work and play. We spent most of two days cleaning up the fields (with bushhog and chainsaw) on both sides of the creek. A bit before dark yesterday, we built a fire and roasted Oscar Meyer Angus franks. They were so good! Maybe we will try those again on the Fourth of July.

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  8. What a precious memory! I can see why it would be so difficult to part with especially since your mother lovingly made it for your first day of school and to have a photo. Your granddaughter gets to enjoy the dress during her visits. It is a wonderful sewing reference and I would like to know how she made that continuous lap placket without a seam.

    The sunflower is beautiful. I would love to grow a few myself one day. Enjoy your evenings at the creek.

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    1. Bethann, I know how much you appreciate fine sewing. Mildred Turner's Mimi's Heirloom Sewing explains the continuous lap very well with diagrams.

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  9. Your granddaughter is cute as can be and the dress looks adorable on her. I can see how studying the dress has helped you know how to sew. I would love to have one of the little dresses mama made for me. I used to stand behind the sewing machine while she sewed and watch her every move. Love the picture of you in the dress too. I have never seen one of those gathering attachments. I'm going to read your post about it, then go through my collection of old attachments and see if there is one there. Your posts are always beautiful and interesting. Thank you!

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    1. Henny, this little dress was made on Mama's treadle sewing machine. I remember standing beside her, too, while she sewed using that new fangled gathering foot. When my little brother lost that attachment is one of my favorite memories.

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  10. This post is lovely-and brings back memories for me of my grandma, who taught me to sew, and used an old treadle machine. I still have the cabinet. I think you are wise to keep the dress. It is lovely-and you need it for the memories and for your mom's examples. Thank you for such a beautiful post...

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    1. Thank you, Debra. I have my grandmother's old treadle and cabinet. I treasure it.

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  11. I know we love to make our grandchildren happy - but that dress is very special to you, surely there is quite a useful little life lesson in there? She does look an absolute poppet in the dress, as did her Gran! This is a wonderful post, on every level.

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    1. And, in this case the grandchild wants to make me happy, so she won't be whining about the dress. Another new word for me...a "poppet"...I like it. Thanks, Elaine!

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  12. It's okay to say no. I think it was generous of you to let your granddaughter model the dress. What a precious memory for you! It was made with such a loving hand by someone who was obviously committed to making your first day of school very special.
    Lovely post!!

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  13. I can't think of a sweeter way to spend your longest summer day. Your dress and all the memories that it holds for you are awesome.

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  14. Aw, how precious to see your granddaughter in your dress. Truly a treasure that photo is.
    Oh my, what a steady skilled and talented hand your Mom had. The buttonholes are perfection.
    Great idea to use the dress for reference. It's makes it all the more special.
    Love the photo of You girls, you're both adorable in your lovely frocks.
    Happy Summer to you too!

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  15. Oh how precious to still have that little dress your mother made you, also the picture!
    I could not part with it either

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