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Monday, March 30, 2009

Last of the Mohicans ... er, well, Last of my Quilt Show!

So, for all my adoring fans out there in cyber land ... above is one of my best and worst buys! It's the best because it cost me exactly $1.00!! and my worst because it is in perhaps the worst shape of all my quilts - it's falling apart and is rather dirty! It literally came off the floor in a junk shop and I just couldn't bear to see people walk all over it so I persuaded the shop owner to sell it to me! It is also my only Log Cabin quilt. It is of a certain age, as they say, and contains Velvets, Worsted Wool and I suspect Gabardine fabrics, hence is quite quite heavy.

To the left is a lovely blue and white Pineapple I got at an auction on Manitoulin Island, and to our right is a SILK (yes, I said Silk) blue and white Delectable Mountain quilt, at least that's what I think is the name of this pattern. These two blue and white quilts live on a small quilt rack in my living room, which is blue and white!
This utility quilt pictured above I got at another junk store and although I don't recall the actual amount - it too was a real bargoon! It's a simple 9 patch and is my favourite quilt as it has a flannel backing. Actually, if you must know I call it my sick quilt since whenever I am sick I like to lie on the couch and wrap myself up in this quilt to keep warm. Isn't that what vintage quilts are for??
And lastly ....... TaDa! On the left are the left-over blocks from this guild cobblestones workshop, and on the right is the final finished product. I suppose I should have waited until show-n-tell night at the guild, but it's been SO long since I finished a full sized quilt I'm just too excited! And yes ladies it's all hand quilted! I used the same fabric for the borders as the backing, and even managed to scrimp the 4 corner blocks out of pre-cut workshop blocks! Way to go! Workshops are really the way to go - if you haven't tried one yet give it a whirl!

TTFN ladies!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Losing my Mind! or How long does it take to Change a Light Bulb?

So, I have the sense that I'm losing my mind. I can't seem to remember where I left it. I had a mini meltdown back in November when my calendaring abilities completely escaped me momentarily, but that's not really when it started. I wish it was but have to admit that this has been creeping up on my slowly but surely. I would also dearly love to lay the blame on my active work and social life, but this too would be deflecting reality.
Recently I read an old Oprah magazine article (2007) entitled The Midlife Memory Meltdown by Cathryn Jakobson, in which she describes several memorable (pardon the pun ...) syndromes of this not so funny affliction.

  • first there's the quick - who is she? dsyfunction (haven't I always been this way?)
  • colliding planets syndrome (aka my calendaring malfuntion fits in here)
  • then the damn it they were just in my hand afflication, followed by
  • what am I doing here? paranoia (aka where the H--- am I?/how do you get there?) and
  • wrong vessel disorder (where you put your car keys in the frig and your milk in the oven). I have yet to personally experience this last one - phew!
I would respectfully add to this list a re-awakening of a minor dyslexic life challenge of mine which involves switching letters (or numbers) around. ARGGGGGGGG more than just a wee bit irritating!
According to a news article on the BBC website today "Brain decline begins at age 27" (reeeeally, I find these stories serendipitously). So, it's not recent, and it's not just me - I've been going downhill for a long time now and only just began to notice, and, as Oprah's article reassures me, I am not alone!

Moral of the story? For all those out there currently laughing at me or making fun of me for my current (and I hope temporary) inability to read a calendar, a map or remember your name
But then again, there is the question of how long does it take to change a light bulb? In my case it took 2 HOURS! Yes, I said 2 hours, 'cause the #^&*%@ thing was not just a "push in/pull out" kinda bulb like the hardware store guy said, but a stuck in the new light fixture kinda bulb! So, while standing on the stove, with arms over my head (not a comfy position for someone still dealing with Frozen Shoulder syndrome) I coaxed the bloody thing out of the light fixture with the aid of some needle nosed pliers. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Woohoo!

Not bad for an absent minded old lady eh?
FYI - here's my spring tablescape .... hard to see, but there's a Bird on the table and my garland of white stars in now gracing the curtain swag!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Quilt Show Part Deux !

Yes folks, it the second instalment of my vintage quilt show! The quilt above is perhaps my oldest, and I base that guess on many of the fabrics which might date back as far as the 1860's!

To the left and right are my favourite pink Star quilts. On the left there is a mixture of pinks and blues while the older quilt on the right is just pink and white. There are so many different star quilts (not necessarily in my collection) that I really can't tell you which Star patterns these are, except that it is quite old, I'd say perhaps turn of the century, based on the fabrics. But I'm not a quilt appraisal expert!
Above is a lovely pink Baskets quilt. It's setting is unusual in the the baskets face toward the centre, interesting. On the right is what I used to call my Red Cross quilt in the mistaken belief that it was made as a fund raiser in WWI. There is a history of Red Cross fund raiser quilts, but now I think this is just a lovely example of a Chimney Sweep quilt block done circa 1900-1910.
Then we have a red Star of Bethlehem a great example of a Turkey Red quilt. This one I think comes from the depression era, a guestimate based on the feed sack quality of the muslin.
Next we have the real McKoy - a Redwork quilt done in 1902! I guess this is an official antique as it's over 100 years old! (by definition an object MUST BE 100 years old to be considered an antique, anything younger is simply vintage!) Here's a closeup of the maker's initials, (J M) not that it has helped me in identifying who made the quilt!
Just in case you thought we were done with Dresdan Plate quilts - wrong! Here's what's called a "Fancy" in that the centre has extra blades. This quilt also has a lovely ice cream cone border.
This Tree of Life was a gift from an aunt's friend, if memory serves me, and I would date it from the 30's based on the pastel colours of green and peach. The String pieced Star quilt on the right is another example of a "utilitarian" quilt. This quilt has a yellow background and was purchased in a little antique store in Thedford .

The quilt now on the left has always puzzled me as to what pattern it is. The picture does it justice and reveals a pattern not seen up close. If anyone out there has an idea of the pattern name please feel free to leave me a comment! I purchased it because I loved it - the only reason one should buy anything!
Above we have another utility Star quilt, this one was purchased in St. Jacobs and is made almost completely out of men's shirting fabric. I was told there used to be a men's shirt factory in that area, but maybe, being Mennonite country they simply used up their scraps? The picture does not do it justice as it seems rather washed out, but in reality the quilt is actually in rather good condition.
On the left is another favourite of mine, I believe it's called 1000 Pyramids and, of course is a scrap quilt in blues and greens and pinks and peaches.
On the right is something similar to the cobblestone quilt I'm working on right now. It's a variation of the 9 Patch done in lovely pastels. Another 9 Patch, this time with blues and reds and faded blacks. I think these two are approximately the same age, but the blue and red one has seen more use!

The two 9 Patch quilts above almost look like an Double Irish Chain, but just in case you were fooled - HA! here's the real deal. For awhile there I had a real passion for two colour quilts. I've "heard " (probably an urban quilting legend) that a blue and white quilt is a Temperance quilt , after all blue and white were the colours for Temperance! Can anyone verify that?
On the right is another oldie. I don't think this fabric originally was purple, but maybe it was. My guess is that it definitely dates to the 1880's.
Here we have a depression era "Circle" quilt. That's probably not it's official pattern name - but that's what I call it. The circles are raw edge appliqued which produces a real nice effect I think. On the right is my blue and white Trip Around the World, also purchased in Mennonite country.

Now we're getting to my real Mennonite gems - the one on the left is a Star quilt made from their denim "scraps" after making work shirts.
This one below is another 9 Patch made from the same type of fabric. And the 9 Patch on the right, a carriage quilt, with used feed sacks for the backing. You can still see the Quaker Oats logo on the muslin! Now, to finish off (well, ok, not really, there still some quilts left in the house that I have not rounded up) here's a child's quilt. I call it that because of the size (not quite a twin but bigger than a crib quilt) and also because of the whimsical boats in the border fabric. I think the pattern name is Crown of Thorns.
So that's part deux for now. These will lay out for the next month before being refolded and once again put away. Phew what a chore! In case you wonder where on earth does she keep them all? On the left are the quilts, now refolded from quilt show part one, neatly - or not so neatly stored away on my wicker shelf unit.

So, TTFN. The remainder of my vintage collection will have to wait until another time.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Green Thumb !

WooHoo! I got it to flower!!

OK - I know it isn't Christmas or Easter, so exactly what kind of cactus is this - I dunno, and frankly don't care. This point is I got it to flower and I'm thrilled. My sister gave me this plant two years ago as a present and I finally got it to flower! I have redeemed myself in the indoor gardener's world!
Simone is finally relaxing - somewhat - and has decided that the cat bed I bought for her really might just be comfy after all. Another big WooHoo. She also is no longer running away every time I walk near her, only some of the time now. I'm playing more and more with her and making sure that whenever we do play something touches her - whether or not it's me or a toy, as long as something touches her - it's my attempt to get her used to being touched and it seems to be working.

Simone is doing a lot of rubbing up against doors, and chair legs, and she even is mimicking her big sister Iris in that when I first come home she greets me at the door and then immediately plops down and rolls over to expose her belly. Iris I then give a great big belly rub, but for now Simone merely watches, and hopefully learns. It seems she wants attention and physical touch but still isn't quite trusting enough. Patience!!!

FYI - this is a picture of my view from my work window ... nice eh?