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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Quilt Show !

Every January I spend a weekend pulling quilts from one of the 2 large shelf units I have filled with vintage quilts. I collected most of these quilts at local quilt shows, back when quilt collecting was still somewhat affordable. I have collected what I like based on my tastes and emotional response to the textile. I have not collected a quilt based on future possible profit, or on some so-called "expert" opinion on what should be collected. The quilt at the top of this post was my "introduction" to quilting. This Dresden Plate was my mother's "wedding" quilt, made by her mother and quilted by the church ladies. It was always in our home, and in my teens, after inheriting that grandmother's vintage singer sewing machine and sewing paraphernalia .... I became interested - ok, ok, obsessed with quilts!

So, anyway, every January I pull the quilts from their shelves, unfold and lay them out on the bed in my spare room. I usually leave the quilts for a month or so, protected from the morning sun and the cats. In this way they "unfold" and when the month is up I begin the process of refolding - in a different pattern - so I don't get permanent creases in my collection! On the right is a 1930's Double Wedding Ring. I don't think it was ever used as the colours are nice and bright (for pastels) and in very good condition. I love the red!

On the left is a 1930's yellow Basket quilt, you can tell by the feedsack fabrics. And on the right is another Basket quilt, this time divided by blue lattices. I also it's circa 1930's because of the fabrics.

Next we have a Tulip quilt. I inherited the blocks from a friend of a friend's grandmother - or some such such connection I can't quiet remember anymore. Anyway, I was some what reluctant to complete this quilt top as the person who made the blocks used a stiff polished cotton as the background, and no matter what I do - when washed it wrinkles like mad and needs to be pressed, which is kinda weird for a quilt - but what can ya do ...

And on your right is a Kansas Star quilt top. The top was hand pieced, and after repairing some of the seams I patiently hand quilted this beauty myself. I'm rather proud of the fact that I have actually completed one of the many vintage quilt tops that I own!

BTW, if anyone out there enjoying this quilt show has other names for these quilts I'm showing please feel free to leave me a comment with this info. I base my quilt names on Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns . Above is a Lone Star. It's lovely, but stained. HOW'd THAT HAPPEN??? Did I buy it that way ? or did one of my feline beasties do something nasty and not tell me??

This blue and white Pinwheel to the right is another quilt I'm extremely proud of. I made this one back in the days when I was still producing large quilts. I wasn't too much concerned (or aware?) of piecing techniques, hence many a lost point ... but hey, the result is something pretty anyway! Of course it is hand quilted - and if I do say so myself, heavily quilted!! I added the pink inner border as I thought the blue & white alone was too boring.
On the right is a lovely fan quilt - circa - hmm, I don't really know, but my quess if anywhere from 1940's-1950's. How do I know??? Again, my information source is Dating Fabrics: A Color Guide 1800-1960 by Eileen Jahnke Trestain.

This one to our left is a Bethlehem Star (?) I think. Based on it's condition I'm guessing it was used and is from the 1900-1930's. Some of the fabrics are somewhat delicate, but it still shows rather well and has a great "hand" being nice and soft.

Below is an Autograph or Signature quilt I purchased at an antique store in Port Perry. It was one of those "got-to-have"s... Even with no autographs!Here's more Dresden Plate quilts. I kinda fell in love with this pattern (sorry I hope I don't bore you with lots of Dresden Plates). There's just something about the pattern that I just adore! It must be the pastel colours.

And another Double Wedding Ring. This one was purchased for a realllly good price at a silent auction at the GoodWill!!! Yes ladies - you can get bargoons there if you're on the lookout!I think this pattern is referred to an Wheel of Fortune. I really can't remember where or when I purchased it. I would guess it's from the 30's as I suspect it has feedsack fabrics . The Tree of Life on the right I also suspect is from the '30's. This time I'm basing that guess on it's provenance. It came to me through an aunt who had a friend, who had a friend who knew an old lady who died .... etc. etc. Sad way to acquire something beautiful, but maybe she's resting in peace knowing her hand made quilt is treasured by another connoisseur.
Here I have a BowTie quilt. It's the only one in my collection(that I know of) but then this is only 1/2 of the collection .... Again I think its from the 1930's/40's based on the fabrics.

Below is a damaged Indian Trail, least I think that's what it's called. Someone had an unfortunate accident and there are small blood stains in various spots. It was cheap probably 'cause of the stains. I purchased it as an example of a pattern I'm sure I'll never get to ....
To finish off this portion of my "Quilt Show" I have two utility quilts. On the left is a freebie 1930's Butterfly applique quilt. I admit to spending one whole month many many February's ago re embroidering the black blanket stitch, and replacing some of the butterflies. A friend found this one for me at a church rummage sale - you never know where great quilts will turn up!
On the right is a simple patchwork - no particular pattern name that I am aware of, but I liked it for the wonderful Baptist Fan hand quilting!

So, that's my Quilt show for today, Hope you enjoyed it. Next month, if I'm on schedule and still enthusiastic you might get to see the other half of my "quilt collection".


Monday, January 19, 2009

murder Murder MURDER!

Sorry to get you all excited - I really should not be so dramatic - but I feel like a murderess. Normally I would coax and molly coddle the annual Christmas poinsettia from dearest Father well into February, and sometimes into March! But this year the teenie bopper Simone has decided she wishes to taste all my plants!!! So, although Dr. Jon (from reassures us all that Pointsettias ARE NOT poisonous, contrary to the urban legend stating otherwise ... the %#$* thing is losing leaves like crazy and I'm tired of chasing Simone all around the house to get those red leaves out of her mouth! So, I'm a murderess as I solved the situation by sticking the poor innocent plant outside on the step to freeze to death, which it did quite nicely overnight.

Now, if only I could find an equally easy solution to stop the feline adolescent in my home from eating all my other plants! Any suggestions??

Spent the rest of my weekend, when not chasing Simone around or playing "catch the ball" , putting this wall hanging together - I even got all the blanket stitching finished. Now, all I have to do is quilt the darn thing and I'll have something new for the front door, or for my bulletin board at work. I may even get it finished for the next guild meeting - ok, ok, lets not get too excited!


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Winter Blast ...


... I believe I said this last year, and quite possibly the year before that ... and it still holds true. January, it seems, is the time for frigid arctic air to descend into my neck of the woods and make life miserable! I think I hate the cold even more than I hate the snow! I can honestly say that I'm not impressed and if it had been me that won the million dollar home last week instead of my brother-in-law's cousin you can betcha that I'd be a) retiring and b) moving to warmer more tropical climes!!!

Here's January's tablescape. Nothing terribly fancy except the angel in the center (pictured above) was a gift from mother at Christmas. I'd like to think of it as a message from her that I'm her angel ... maybe she just thought it was pretty. Either way it's nice and has found a home. Speaking of homes ... Simone, the wild one, is ..... yes folks another break through .... trying to make friends with Iris. For most of the holdiay season I thought poor Iris was being neglected and cowed by the hyper Simone. That was until the day I witnessed Simone being chased from the basement to the main floor, a hissy fit under the kitchen table followed by another chase to the upper floor where a further hissy fit occurred! It seems Iris can hold her own with this young wipper snapper! Anyway, this past couple of weeks as I return to my warm and cozy abode it's Simone who greets me at the door (she's fascinated with the outside and all that white stuff - especially when I stop to shovel the sidewalk - "What's mummy doing?") Once our greetings are accomplished Simone turns her attention to Iris and has attempted to rub noses several times. Iris, at this point is still playing the "I was here first, I superior" aloof game and merely hisses back! It will come to pass - I hope.
Here's a pic of the "scrap" blocks left over from the quiltop depicted in my last post. The cobblestone pattern has gone amok as there simply were not enough of the 4 patch blocks to keep it going - who cares - it will probably be made into a baby quilt for the kids as a community project. I was fortunate enough to find an appropriately coloured backing ( at $3.00/meter!) so I'm golden! Now all I have to do is decided how to quilt the whole thing - by hand or machine, by myself or pay someone .... Hmmm....

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Happy New Year !

Happy New Year !
As you can see - my table theme continues. This isn't my holiday tree - see previous post for that -it's kinda a Charlie Brown tree, on the small side and artificial but it suits me, at least I make the effort and decorate each year. The tree pictured above is my little twig tree which I also decorate as I like natural things, twigs, flowers, sea grass baskets etc.
Talk about making an effort .... here's a picture of one of the cakes I made to take to my sister's , this one's a Candy Cane cake. Even if I do say so myself ... it was pretty good! The other cake, a chocolate with green cream cheese centre was eaten too fast and I didn't get a pic , I guess that means it was good also! I got so wrapped up in making the cakes I didn't get much cookie baking done, just one batch of sugar cookies. Guess ya can't do everything, especially when ya leave it all to the last minute!

Here's a nice pic of Simone and Iris - together! Treasure it as they have reverted back to Simone dominating the main and lower floors of the house. She tolerates Iris on the main floor sometimes, but has become quiet the hyper child! The breeder I got her from claimed Simone was "spastic" ... well I think the woman used the wrong descriptor - Simone is HYPER not spastic - especially after any kind of food. Here's hoping this hyper activity is related to her youth!

Spent some great time with family and friends over the holidays as I enjoyed a full two weeks from the daily grind (YEAH). I even managed to get some crafting and sewing accomplished!
My friend and I finally succeeded in completing our Teacup pincushions = another big YEAH! Mine's the short squat one. I like hers better because the teacup is footed and there is room on the saucer for you to stash thread spools or scissors, etc. Mental note for next time , hmmmmm
And speaking of friends - lookee lookee what I got for Xmas ...... YUP a Jim Shore tree ornament in the form of a cat!! Normally I'm not a big fan of Jim Shore (dare I say that? ohhh I know he's sacrosanct with most quilters ....) but in this case I will definitely make an exception.

My Sewing accomplshments include completing the quilt top for a workshop by Heather Stewart from November called Cobblestones. What I'll do with this quilt top is another mystery yet to be solved, so for now it's going into my UFO trunk! I even got all the "extra" blocks put together and they might just appear on the back of whatever this becomes ... stay tuned!