Just a few DYK's for you today...
Did you know that the measuring tape you have in your sewing space is most likely 5/8" wide? Our seam allowance in quilt-making is almost always 1/4", but if you do any garment-making, the seam allowance is usually 5/8". So measure the width of your tape measure, it may very well be a handy guide for you! ~ Info passed on by Kathy Feltmate, from Colette Patterns. Thanks Kathy! (** I checked mine and it's 3/4"... just sayin'....)
Have you ever wondered where the tomato pincushion came from? In the early Middle Ages metal pins were costly and much harder to come by than they are today. They were often stored in special pin/needle cases made from ivory, bone, silver or other metals. In the early 1700's pin-pillows came into use- the pincushion predecessor! They were made from beautiful fine fabrics and were often embroidered. Soon they were mounted on bases of silver, china or wood and used more as a home decor item. By the early 1900's pincushions were commonly used as a useful sewing aid.
Did you know that during Victorian times, when a family moved into a new home, it was common to place a fresh tomato on the mantle to ward off evil spirits, thereby bringing prosperity to the family? Since tomatoes were only available in summer, and didn't last long, they were often made from fabric instead, stuffed with sand or sawdust and made to look realistic with veins and leaves. It's easy to picture the busy lady of the house stabbing a few stray pins into the tomato, until she could put them back in their proper place with her sewing supplies.... ~ Info from Threads magazine
Have you ever made an Irish Chain quilt? Or have you ever wondered where the name came from? Did you know that the Irish began immigrating to North America in large numbers in the mid-1800's? When the American Civil War began, the Irish formed their own brigades with approximately 140,000 Irish soldiers fighting for the union. The Irish used a tool called an Irish Chain (Gunter's chain or surveying chain) as a measuring device for land surveying; it was made up of linked sections that fit together to form a single chain. Replace those links with squares and you have an Irish Chain quilt! ~ info from Fons and Porter