Sunday, June 25, 2017

Food Preparation in South Texas

Here is an article with some great pictures of food preparation of various cultures in Texas.  Check out this article from the San Antonio Express-News.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Using Shank Buttons on Historical Costumes

This website has a wonderful trick for using buttons with shanks.  These buttons often dangle and look strange on 18th and 19th century dresses and coats.  This trick is worth knowing when you make heavy garments and men's wear.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Book of Interest...Unvanquished: How the Women of the South Survived

(Kindle Edition)by Pippa Pralen

This digital book is available on Amazon and can be downloaded to be read on your tablet, phone, or computer for $1.99. It sounds like it would be an interesting read.

To purchase book.

Eyewitness accounts from over 50 diaries of southern women facing the hardships of the Civil War. Includes voices of slave women. As Yankee soldiers plundered, and starvation stalked the land, they hid food and heirlooms in wells and swamps. They watched Atlanta and Georgia burn and fed hungry children. Vivid accounts of women who witnessed the battles. Turned into food scavengers at the brink of starvation, southern women devised ways to feed their children. Genteel wives and southern aristocracy were catapulted out of their cozy worlds of privilege. They endured humiliation, terror and grief, yet prevailed. Authentic images and numerous diary entries. Includes frugal Civil War recipes: oatmeal pie, cabbage stew, "idiot's delight" cake, and Hoppin John. Their stories offer inspiration in resilience and determination.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Quilts That Saved a Village

Quilts are known for giving warmth and comfort, but in one instance, at least, they helped save the lives of a whole village of people. Here is the story of seven brave men and the quilts that carried them over a mountain.
Once upon a time (in 1863), a group of pioneers decided to settle in a pretty area about 20 miles northwest of what is now Bryce Canyon National Park.  They named their new town Fairview.  Fairview sat at an elevation of 6600 feet. What these brave pioneers didn’t realize was that the high altitude would result in cooler year-round temperatures and good crops were going to be hard to grow.
By Fairview’s second winter, the lack of food was making life hard, indeed. The wheat that they planted had not matured and was almost impossible to grind. The people tried boiling the wheat but it was mostly inedible. They tried hunting and fishing, but early, deep snowfalls made it nearly impossible to provide enough food for the whole community.
Fairview’s leaders, realizing that the prospect for the community surviving the winter was grim, came up with a plan for getting food. They decided to send two groups out for supplies. One party was to go north about 110 miles to Gunnison.  The other group would head 45 miles toward Parowan. Although the distance was less, the western route was over a high mountain pass.
The Gunnison bound party returned almost immediately. The passages to Gunnison were completely blocked with snow. All hopes were now with the seven men trying to make it over the mountain pass for Parowan.
Traveling by a wagon with two oxen the Parowan party made good progress at first, however the snow began to gradually deepen. It soon became apparent that they would have to finish the mountain crossing on foot.  The men struggled to make any headway at all as their legs plunged into the deep drifts of snow.
With hope of going any further gone, the men laid a quilt on the snow and knelt on it to pray for guidance and assistance. As the men prayed they realized that the quilt was supporting their weight on the snow.
quiltmanThe men took all the quilts that they had packed for warmth and began laying one quilt after another on the snow-packed ground. They walked on the quilts to keep from falling through the snow all the way across the high mountain pass.
Eventually the men reached Parowan where they got as many  sacks of flour as they could carry. Parowan settlers helped the group as far back up the mountain as was possible. Then the men began walking on their quilts again, this time while carrying heavy sacks of flour.  The men finally made it back to Fairview and saved the town from starvation.The trip is estimated to have taken fourteen days.
One of the men on the trip was named Alexander Matheson. He left this recounting of the journey: “We decided that if we had faith as big as a mustard seed, we could make it and bring flour to our starving families. So we began the quilt-laying in prayerful earnestness. The return trip was harder with the weight of the flour, but we finally made it to our wagon and oxen and on home with thankfulness to the Lord for his goodness. The whole settlement welcomed us, because we had been gone longer than expected. There had been prayers, tears, and fears which turned to rejoicing and cheers.”
The residents of Fairview and other neighboring towns were evacuated from the region for several years during conflicts with the Native America population. When they returned to the area in 1871 the town was renamed Panguitch.
walkquiltThe people of Panguitch, Utah hold an annual celebration of this quilt walk event and a memorial now stands in the center of town to honor the efforts of these original settlers.
The 2016 Quilt Walk Festival will be held June 8-11. The theme of the festival will be “Pecking Up the Pieces.” There will be lots of fun events including a chocolate fest, dinner theatre, pioneer home tour, quilt walk race, quilt classes, and much more. For details contact

Monday, September 19, 2016

Talking Tejano History Webinar

These talks are worth your time and effort --- and they are a free history lesson! ________________________________________ Tuesday is our Texas Talks webinar! Title: Talking Tejano History Description: Learn more about Tejano history with Dr. Andrés Tijerina and Dr. Emilio Zamora during Hispanic Heritage Month Host: Dr. Andrés Tijerina, Austin Community College and Dr. Emilio Zamora, The University of Texas at Austin
Date: Tuesday, September 20, 2016Time: 7:00PM (Central Time)In 2 hours, the webinar you registered for is going to start. Please, click on the link below to view the webinar stream. This program is sponsored in part by the Texas Historical Foundation If you would like to chat with the moderator and other viewers during our live stream, you will need to log in to a Gmail account.
1. Click the "Watch and Interact" link below the TSHA video player 2. Click the "Sign in to chat" link on the right hand side of the page 3. Sign in to your Gmail account 4. If you do not have one, click "Add account" and then "Create account" 5. Once signed in, navigate back to the YouTube stream page to chat

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Great Period Needle Work Resources

If you are interested in historical needlework of all kinds, the Interweave store has CDs of Piecework magazine for sale for $5. Piecework is a magazine of historical patterns. This is an excellent opportunity to find beautiful patterns at an unbelievable price.  Hurry before they are all gone.

Monday, September 12, 2016

How to enlarge a sewing pattern with Powerpoint

How to enlarge a sewing pattern with Powerpoint

Step by step tutorial on how to enlarge any sewing pattern with Microsoft PowerPoint. Resize any image you find in a book, or the internet, in a few steps!

This is a great tutorial from the Costume Diary blog at

There are many republished Victorian patterns in books that you can do this with as well as great free original books like Godey's and Delineator full of patterns to make your own at

In addition, she has a number of tutorials and free patterns including corsets and dresses from many eras at