Thursday, September 27, 2007

Better late than never...

This quilt top was made by my friend, Jeanie's, Mom. I figure it was made about 1940. Somewhere around there. She had the whole top done and even marked for quilting, but like a lot of quilters, that's as far as she got. I just followed her lines-figuring they probably won't wash out as they have been in that fabric for the better part of 50 years- and then embellished with some of my own. The blocks were torn- so they were very straight, and then hand-sewn. I did a little stomping on those seams as I don't recall seeing fabirc quite so fragile before- it was just a grade above gauze. But didn't it turn out pretty?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Utility Quilts...
I love utility quilts. I like their simplicity and their lack of pretensions. Do you know what a utility quilt is for? Of course you do!! It'll keep you warm on a cold winter's night. They're thrifty- often made from scraps of feedsack or pajamas or ticking. The top utility quilt in red, white, and blue was made by my great grandfather and great grandmother, Grover and Oe Miller. They had 14 children and times were often lean on their mountain farm. Is it just me, or does this quilt look artsy-fartsy to you, too? Look how that blue stripe just marches up that bed! It is knotted in blue and white twist- and the red fabric has bled on it and makes it look like there is some purple twist in there, too. There is no batting in this quilt- it is filled with a very lightweight cotton fabric and backed in white feedsack. Sadly, there is a hole smack dab in the middle of the quilt...fixable? yep, I think so.
The second utility quilt is one I bought at a thrift shop for $3. I liked it, even though it has some condition issues- I usually tuck the troubled part up under the pillow- end of issue- but flipped it around so you could see it. I have no problem with loving a quilt up, but setting the poor thing in the sun- for who knows how long...well, that doesn't seem a bit nice to me! The sun has dry-rotted some of the blocks and I think I'll replace them from my own vintage stash. This quilt has no batting either- not even a piece of flannel. It is machine pieced and handquilted- in the ditch, no less. I think this would be a grand way to showcase some cool fabs- look how great they look in those big bricks. And the grey makes a nice setting- some of the greys are flannel. The backing is an old sheet with a pretty pink cuff. Both of the bindings on these quilts are hand rolled.

When they tell you that they want to put a "booster" in your hair color, maybe you should err on the side of caution... They said it would last longer... Of that, I don't doubt. But do you really want it to last longer? That's the question. Oh, I'm not one to sit around whining about a crazy hair job- I mean, it's not like I have to look at it that much. And, technically, it is the season for candy apple red hair, right? Right?! I may have to start wearing make-up though, and that might prove the deal breaker.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Twenty years ago, today...

Who knew this is where we'd be? I had an inkling... can't you tell by that gleam in my eye? We are happy happy happy!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

One of my stolen treasures...

Ok, I didn't actually steal it... or perhaps it depends on who you ask... My Mama said I could have it!! My Papa... well, he didn't even know it was there... OK, here's the story- I'll try to keep it brief, but you know how hard that is for me.

Last weekend, we made a very fast and brief visit to West Virginia to visit my folks and to help my Dad with a chore. He needed some muscle and since I have that in abundance... not personally, mind you, but in the form of a hunk of a husband and 6 sons. Oh, alright, Abe the babe wasn't likely any help, but were we supposed to leave him home? Sheesh, you guys sure are argumentative, today. Maybe my conscience about my stolen loot. So we ran to their place Saturday night (5 1/2 hour drive) and came home Monday night. See? Quick. Well, while Dad was having the guys help him with a very heavy air-conditioner... I found myself downstairs with Mom. I didn't plan on pilfering- she had canned some squash for me that I was going to set out to take home. That was the only pilfering I was planning. But then we got to sorting through boxes. Some of them had eons-old polyester fabric in them that really was nasty- given to Mom by someone else trying to declutter. She took it in pity. Not for the fabric, but in the effort to help a... is there a nice way to say, "Pack Rat?" "Horder?" See, it just doesn't sound nice... How about, "Collector?" We won't say a thing about taste. Getting back to my pilfering... er... collecting. Mom and I threw away about 5 big black trash bags of junk that had seen better days. Nothing of value. Honest. Mostly worn out clothes- and even some we saved. My dad had 10-15 years of Sears uniforms stockpiled... just in case he decided to come out of retirement? Well, we decided they would make a fine quilt- full of memories for the grandkids. See? We really didn't throw anything of value away. Touchy, am I? Well, I did overhear Papa saying how that it is very easy to come into someone else's home and throw away their treasures, but it would be a different story if he came to my house and threw away mine. So I am just saying, yet again, no treasure, either real or perceived, was tossed. And we did find some treasure and that is what I am getting at.

This quilt was made by my maternal grandmother. How cool is that? I just love the idea of it looking down at me from that wall. She passed away 31 years ago, next month. It is machine pieced and hand quilted. She liked the diagonal quilting and did this on several of her tops. I love the blue- don't look so shocked! and the aqua. It is a light and airy quilt and perfect for the summer, but now that Fall is upon us, I'll be taking it down and putting up Abel's quilt. I confess that I also collected a quilt made by both my great grandfather and great grandmother, Grover and Oe. It is a utility quilt and full of love- ie.holes, but I still treasure it and have it sitting on the armoire in a place of honor. I'll try to get a picture of that posted, soon. It is a lot of fun- full of scraps- inside and out! My first quilt- started when I was about 8yrs old, was also found- it is still in blocks. I threatened to assemble the blocks- which some were made by both me and my sister- and giving it to my sister to be "treasured" forever. It is polyester, in pink, navy and maroon. Very bad. Just a simple 9-patch.

Here's a postcard idea I went with- I have lots more. It's fun and bright but could still be masculine. I find guy postcards difficult to make. They start off looking all manly, but by the time I embellish... girly. So no, or little, embellishing on a guy postcard! This has just a touch of metallic thread and some varigated thread.

Oh, and yes, I need Dad to come and help me de-clutter my piano! He can feel free to toss anything he finds on it! "Flylady" would call it a "hot spot." I call it a raging inferno of torture!! This is the landing spot of choice for all of dh's treasures. And I see a Dr. Suess book there, and a beanie, and is that a toy gun? Yeah, right, they all belong on the piano. But ya know? I've given up. When company comes, sometimes I just dump it all in a box and hope he'll be able to find the power bill in time to keep the lights on! Other times, I figure, "what's a little clutter between friends?"

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Abraham!!!
Someone seems to have grown up, over night! He has always walked with a swagger, but now it seems to be combined with a little march- just like dad! 4 years old! He's my quilting buddy. He keeps a box of toys in the quilting room and can most times be found under my feet- and I love it that way. (I heard a lady say that she was going to put a gate across her sewing room door to keep the kids out... I can see her point, lots of sharp things in there, but here, the kids are always welcome- unless I am using the quilting machine on a particularly difficult peice and I need complete concentration. But they even know how to make a wide circle so as to not stop the flow of me and the machine!) He got a whole bunch of matchbox cars for his birthday so I am sure that they will be whizzing by my feet in the near future!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Girly-Girl Day!

We had a great day at the Heritage Fair in Pendleton, IN. They have a nice quilt show in their museum and I really can't even begin to fathom why-oh-why didn't I take any pictures of that!? But I didn't. I do have proof that we were there as I have a picture of the girls in front of the sign. I have a picture around here, somewhere, from last year and I thought it would be fun to see how they have grown in one year. Can't find it at the moment. typical. The girls and I decided that we are going to enter the Spring Valley quilt show, next year and that way, we'll get in for free! There is no entry fee and no guild membership requirement. And the judging is just "viewers choice." So no negative comments and we'd save $9. Really just a perk, as we all thought it would be fun. The quilt show is held in a log cabin by a creek- very picturesque. And the lighting is very good- pot lights. We must have made three trips up and down their stairs, trying to decide our favorites in each category. And they also had a display of quilts of valor- which reminded me that I need to get mine quilted, though I noticed that several of theirs were just floppies, too. Quilting- the great infinished business.
The bottom picture is in way of an apology for not taking any pictures of the quilts at the show. I made this piece- about 28"x20, to use as a background for some postcards- I got the idea from a tie I saw on the preacher one Sunday... um, well, maybe I was daydreaming just a tad, but the Lord works in mysterious ways. I thought it would make an interesting- and still neutral- background for some bright batik applique. I just wavy cut a bunch of soft grey fabrics and layered them on some pellon, ironed them down and then applique stitched them down. Now they are ready to whack into 4"x6" blocks. I have made up 24 postcards from that one piece, but I haven't had a chance to download from my camera to the 'puter, yet. Speaking of computers, I am hoping that mine will be resurrected by Monday. My computer Gurus have completed their work on it and now I am just looking for a keyboard and a mouse- whatever zapped my computer obviously took a shot at my board and mouse, too. Boo-hiss! I have one laying around here, somewhere. Can't find it at the moment. typical.