The Virtual Quilt, ANewsletter for Computing Quilters


Number Seventeen * July 1, 1997

Classifieds | Table of Contents

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Spoiled By FedEx

The Mary Frances Sewing Book: Adventures Among the Thimble People

by Jane Eayre Fryer
Originally published 1913 by The John C. Winston Company Reproduced 1997 by Lacis Publishing, Berkeley, California

By Lynn Holland

Cover for Mary Frances book.One of my vivid memories of childhood in Orlando was taking the bus downtown by myself (a big deal for a then 8-year-old) and going to the old Albertson library, the one with the library lions. Although I was a avid reader of the usual juvenile fiction, even as a child I loved craft and needlework books. My all-time favorite was a book about Mary Frances who learned to knit and crochet with the help of needles and hooks who magically came to life when adults weren't present.

The Albertson is long gone and for the last 30 years I have missed Mary Frances. Every so often, I have idly threatened to have an out-of-print book service conduct a search for me so that we might be reunited. But my practical side always deterred me from such frivolity. Imagine my excitement when I opened the June issue of Piecework and peering out at me from an advertisement for Lacis was Mary Frances herself!

This time Mary Frances was learning to sew instead of knit and crochet, but she was still the same old friend of my childhood, now available as a reprint. I wasted no time in calling Lacis, a store that specializes in reprints of needlework books, recreations of old sewing notions, and other nostalgia-ware. After 30 years, waiting a couple of weeks to be reunited with Mary Frances should be no big deal, but I have been spoiled by Fed Ex. Suffice it to say that the mail order department (probably befitting the nostalgia reprint market), appears to be more attuned to gentler, simpler times. It took a full two weeks and a phone call before Mary Frances appeared on my doorstep.

It was, however, a joyous reunion, at least on my part. Mary Frances had not aged one bit. Actually, she was now more youthful than ever and her companion, Fairly Flew, looked marvelous. Her magic pals were as amusing as ever. The book itself is beautifully done, with illustrations typical of the early 1900s (the original book was published in 1913). If you grew up with the old Book House series of approximately the same vintage, you will recognize the look of the lovely color plates. The text itself is pretty snappy, given the vintage. It's full of puns, and somewhat reminiscent of the Wizard of Oz or Dr. Dolittle series for its cleverness.

If you are interested in historical clothing, you will love the doll outfits that Mary Frances learns to sew. She makes her doll Mary Marie an automobile outfit (NOT jeans), an "ermine" cape, something called a guimpe and several other items most of us have never heard of but which were part of a little lady's wardrobe earlier in the century. Should you be so inspired that you want to replicate these outfits, full size patterns are included with the book. My only disappointment is that they are for a 16-, not 18-inch doll. Sorry, Samantha.

From the perspective of a veteran parent, it does seem hard to believe that Mary Frances could possibly be as virtuous and industrious as the book portrays, but after all, scissors talk and the needles sew by themselves. This IS a fantasy. The story line would probably not mesmerize the modern child, but I am still enthralled by how Mary Frances made the best of her time by herself, not playing Nintendo or watching Oprah, but hand sewing a wardrobe for her doll. The closest girls of the '90s usually get to this kind of activity is to order the right stuff from Pleasant Company.

In tune with this trend, Lacis is happy to offer Mary Frances' now grownup fans (complete with Visa cards all their own) a lovely reproduction of Mary Frances' sewing bird as well as all of her magic sewing tools. Lacis offers other fascinating reproductions, should you not find Mary Frances to be your cup of tea. In checking out their web site you will find other vintage reprints, antique laces, fancy imported threads, bridal items, tassels and many otherwise hard to find items. The good news for me is that they do plan to reprint Mary Frances' knitting and crocheting book. Knit and Knack and CroShay - I can hardly wait!



Looking for a quilter's gift? May I suggest 4 fat quarters packaged in a cute canvas bag. Choose from Hoffman, Quilter's only, Debbie Mum, flannels, 30's reproductions, Documentories etc. If you prefer I can coordinate something for you in your theme or color preference.

We also have "Quilts to go" all materials to complete a quilt in one package, we will work with you on choosing a design and colors.

If you're interested in personal attention and service just contact me e-mail or snail mail: Chrysti Protsch Patchworks PO Box 623 Howard SD 57349 605-772-5604 We accept credit cards.


Affordable handdyed fabric! High quality 100% cotton quilt-weight fabric, lots of visual texture, awesome colors! Visit our web site at to see swatches of the fabrics as well as projects made from them. Or to receive a color brochure and fabric swatches, send your check or money order for $2.50 with a self- addressed stamped long envelope to Hartley's Handdyeds, 3019 Putney Road, Richmond, VA 23228. E-mail


A new Quilting and Sewing Clipart collection is now available from SnippitS Graphics.

The set consists of over 120 clipart images for use in newsletters, stationery, address labels, business cards and web sites. Perfect for the Patchwork, Sewing or Craft enthusiast the clips include images of bears, animals, dividers, blocks, patchwork, sewing utensils, flowers and celebrations.

For enquiries please e-mail

Web site for Australian orders

For International orders


The MINI DUST-IT. Genuine sheepskin duster on a 6" stick that is perfect for picking up dust and lint from your sewing machine and serger. Soft, beautiful sheepskin won't scratch polished surfaces. Picks up the lint and tiny threads; doesn't spread them around. Prevents lint build-up. Inexpensive way to protect expensive sewing machines and sergers. Fun and handy to use.

Price: $3.50 each including mailing.

To order send check to Silver Dollar Sheep Station, 5020 Winding Way, Sacramento, CA 95841. 800-887-8742. SILVER DOLLAR SHEEP STATION

Quilting on the Edge: Border Possibilities for Paper-Piecing

Over 45 different paper-pieced borders in 1, 1.5,2 and 3 inch strips. Basic border designs are pieced in one strip to complete the design. Basic strip borders are those borders that are pieced in two strips to complete the design. 20 different patterns in corner squares in 1, 1.5, 2 and 3 inch strips. Can be traced or copied with a copy machine. $15.95 + $2.50 postage.

Lighthouse wallhanging patterns (Nantucket, Nauset Beach, Boston Light, Gay Head, Buffalo, Barneget, Montauk, and 3 North Carolina Lighthouses). Musical instrument wallhanging. Nurse and teacher applique wallhangings. Patterns $6.75 each.

Seagull Quilts
72 Elmwood Avenue
East Aurora, NY 14052
Web page:


A new home for Design Plus at:

We offer new and older quilts, quilt labels, quilting books, archival quiltstorage materials, Thangles, notions, and are in the process of adding to our Home Furnishings Section.


Hickory Hill Quilts is expanding! In addition to our complete line of include vintage American quilts, tops and related items, we now offer reproduction fabric and quilt heritage books - all at a discount! Visit our main catalog of quilts, tops, blocks and fabrics at and our other items at To order, call 518-875-6133 or E-mail to confirm availability and shipping costs. We will hold your item pending receipt of your check or you may charge your MasterCard, Visa or Discover. We also have a layaway plan. All items are 100% satisfaction guaranteed. We hope you enjoy owning your very own piece of American history!


Quilt Shop Service -- Discount Prices

Looking for discounted quilting supplies and books? Look to PineTree for discounts of 20%, accompanied by attentive customer service and prompt shipping! Don't forget to check out online catalog at for ***new, new, new*** items and a partial listing of books!

You'll find a huge selection of batting, from Quilter's Cotton fine cotton batts to the full lines of Hobbs' and Fairfield's cottons, blends, and polys. Look for tools to make applique easier and more fun; fabric and hand care products; pencils and markers; templates and template plastic; needlecraft gloves; rotary cutters and related supplies; rippers, clippers, snippers, and scissors; machine sewing needles; seven (!) brands of hand sewing needles -- including Jeana Kimball's renowned Foxglove Cottage needles; basting systems; thread, including Mettler and Gutermann cotton sewing and quilting, Tire silk sewing, and Sulky rayon, metallic, and sliver, and *new* Roxy 100% cotton thread on economical 1200-yard spools; patterns ... and more.

Check out the catalog on the web at, or request a hard copy by e-mailing snail mail info to If you are on AOL and prefer to contact someone there, Donna's address is PineTreeQW!

Visa, MasterCard, and Discover are all welcome. PineTree is online to answer questions about quilting products at


Check out our on-line catalog for our Monthly $pecial$!! Or, if that's not possible, just e-mail Schoolhouse Enterprises ( with your "snail mail" (post office) address for your FREE CATALOG and Sample of Gridded Geese(c)! Gridded Geese(c) is a unique paper foundation method for mass-producing Flying Geese units up to 24 at once (similar to the half-square triangle papers, which, BTW, are included in their catalog).

The Schoolhouse Enterprises catalog offers lots of Other Fun Stuff, too! We've added a few things we think you'll like, so if you haven't visited our web page lately, we think you'll be pleasantly surprised.


Perfect Square, the REUSABLE (10+ times each) iron-on transfer, helps you make perfect half square triangles in almost any size. For those of you who like to work small, there is the Mini Pack with finished sizes from 1/4" to 1 1/2". Perfect Square also comes in real sizes for anyone intimidated by the small stuff. E-mail for more info or check out the Perfect Square web site at


ARTFABR!K now carries a Color Card for their extraordinary hand-dyed perle cotton threads available in sizes 3, 5, 8 and the finest, size 12. Please send $7 plus $1 for shipping to ARTFABR!K, Laura Wasilowski, 324 Vincent Place, Elgin, IL 60123. E-mail or see our web site at


Beautiful hand Dyed Fabric perfect for piecing, applique and pictorial quilts. Colors range from a sunrise spectrum of mauves, pinks, and golds to deep purples, blues and teals. Available in the following convenient packages:

8 step color progression- fat eighth cuts- 1 yard $25.00
12 step color wheel- 6"x22"cuts 1 yard $25.00
24 step color wheel- 6"x22" cuts 2 yards $45.00
  10" squares 1.5 yards $35.00

Send a self addressed, stamped envelope for free samples and full price list or to order send check or money order to:

Jay Dee Designs 18640 South Lowrie Loop Eagle River, Alaska 99577



Our advertisers, both here in the newsletter and at the Planet Patchwork website, have found TVQ to be an effective and economical way to reach thousands of online quilters. Ads in the newsletter are only $5 each (up to 100 words, inquire about longer ads) or 3 for $10, and there are also attractive packages available which combine newsletter and website ads. For more information e-mail or visit We specialize in helping small quilting-related businesses gain exposure on the internet.

In This Issue:

Following is a list of the rest of the stories in this issue of TVQ. In order to read them, you must be a subscriber. Subscribing online here and following up with the small subscription fee will entitle you to eight issues of TVQ, including this one. You will receive TVQ every six weeks by e-mail, and will be issued a password to access it here on the World Wide Quilting Page.

Subscribers: Please report any password problems to Rob Holland. Be sure to include your name & e-mail address. We will try to resolve all password problems within 24 hours. Thank you!

And here's what's inside!


Like any news publication, TVQ is always hungry for information about new developments in the area we are trying to cover. If you have an idea for a story, or want to tell the world about something you are doing which relates to computers and quilting, we'd like to hear about it.

We'd like news of new classes starting up to teach quilt design on computers, or new approaches to that teaching. New products, maillists, World Wide Web pages, etc., are all fair game, and we'd appreciate any tips you can provide. Send your tips by e-mail to

If you have a comment about an article, a complaint or a correction, we're glad to hear that, too, and may publish some comments as letters to the editor. Again, these may be sent to

Editor and Publisher: Robert Holland, Decatur, GA

1997 by Robert Holland. All rights reserved. This file may not be reproduced in any form except to be printed out for the personal use of its owner without the expressed, written consent of the copyright holder.


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