Saturday, November 28, 2015

Stars, Stars and More Stars

Flag of Valor
Just One Star
Minick and Simpson

Several years ago (gulp 2010) Polly Minick and Laurie Simpson challenged quilters to make "just one star" for Flags of Valor to donate to soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I downloaded the instructions and my alligator ambitions had every intention of making stars.  My canary capabilities knew better.  Making those six inch stars turned into a very time consuming tedious task for me.  Give or take I made about twenty-five stars and set the project aside.  

Several blogs and quilt guild's challenged quilters to pull out their oldest WIP/PhD's project and complete them in 2015.  Thinking this was a good idea, I pulled out my stars and started working on them.  If thinking about a project counted as working on a project, the stars would have been completed long ago.  Once I actually started sewing stars, I quickly realized why I had abandoned the project--days, weeks, months and (gulp) years have gone into making the stars.  

Sixty six inch stars later, I had made enough stars for a quilt 64"wide by 76" long.  Whew!  When I started sewing them together one stars points got completely lost and this involved some reverse stitching and the making of a new star.  While adding the sashing, I found another star, isn't this just the way it always goes.  There was some more reverse sewing when one row of the stars and sashing didn't match.  There are many Amish stars in this quilt.  

Tomorrow when my aching back has had a good nights sleep, I will dig into the stash and find backing fabric, I think I have some Civil War Gettysburg fabric which will work.  

 Just One Star (Quilt of Valor) and finishing my oldest WIP/Phd for 2015 challenge has been met.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Homespun Gathering

Anne's beautiful Jan Patek Bible Story applique quilt.

Lucile's first hand pieced quilt--she is doing an awesome job for a first time quilt.  The colors in this quilt are stunning, Lucile said she "took a long time in selecting the fabrics."  

A birthday gift from Delilah to Mellicent.  This is a Bird's of a Feather design called Happy Hearts.  The changes Delilah made show events which the two friends share.

Beautiful wool appliqué

More wool applique--apologies, I am unsure of the maker of these exquisite pieces.

Linda's beautifully stitched designs waiting to be finished into strawberries.

Debby's Stacy Nash Merry Christmas.  Debby changed the house to look like her own and added a second girl (her Granddaughter's).

Delilah's small alphabet quilt.

Shannon's  Farms at Hawk Run Hollow.

Judy's Plum Street Sampler Ghoultide Welcome.  Judy changed to Autumn Welcome.  Can't wait to see this completed--a beautiful piece.

Jane's Notforgotten Farm design Reverend Gourdon Squashbottom.

Beautiful needlework, tasty food, laughter, sharing, friendship--the agenda for Homespun Gatherings.  See you girls in February--can't wait to see the results of your creative and skilled hands.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Salesman Sample

In the 1800's how did stores or people that wanted to buy an iron bed, see what was available?  Dry good salesman would travel from town to town with a horse drawn wagon full of samples that store owners would place orders for.  One of the more popular miniature samples the salesman would carry with him were "iron bed samples."  Many people mistake them for "doll beds."  They were actual miniature replicas of the different bed designs, with detailed castings.

In the early 20th century salesmen samples were a common item.  The idea behind them was simple:  salesmen needed a smaller (easily transportable) version of their product to show off to retailers.  These samples also enabled retailers to display and demonstrate the features of larger items which needed to be ordered from the manufacturer.  Salesman's samples were well built and highly detailed.

Miniature furniture started life as a traveling salesmen sample.  The miniature piece of furniture was an identical twin of their larger grown up counterparts.  The idea behind this concept was a salesman could be gone for many weeks from the workshop collecting orders from all over the country and when he returned to the shop he would begin construction. 

Salesmen samplers include hundreds of products:  furniture, plows, dishes, cast iron stoves, sewing machines, ice boxes,  chicken coops, wagons.  Just let your imagination run wild and there was probably a salesmen sample.  Ticking fabric has been purchased and a box pillow/mattress will be sewn for the bed.

What better way to display those Jo Morton LWC quilts than on a salesmen sample iron bed?  Speaking of Jo Morton, she is releasing a book in January called Jo's Little Favorites.  The book includes patterns for 13 small classic quilts (most under 36" x 36").  Jo shares her techniques for accurate piecing and helpful tips on choosing and using fabric.  There is also a section on displaying small quilts in your home and incorporating quilts into your decorating scheme.  This is not a paid advertisement for the book. 

 Grandmother Bessie had an iron bed on her sleeping porch. Grandfather Isaac enjoyed many afternoon naps on that iron bed dreaming of his farm, his family and the next delicious meal Grandmother Bessie would be preparing for him.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Dessert Plates

My dislike of shopping is no secret.  Truth be told my friends and family would say I loathe shopping.  Grandmother Bessie would often say:  "I'm not a shopper." 

Thankfully, Grandfather Isaac and AppleJack are shoppers.  Make a grocery list and send them off to the store and they do an excellent job.  Grandmother so intensely disliked shopping, Grandfather Issac bought her clothes and shoes. 

A few weeks ago, I mentioned to AppleJack I needed a new pair of boots.  He sighed, hung his head and said "we will have to go shopping."  He understands my shopping woes.

Fortunately, Williams-Sonoma happens to be next door to the shoe store.  The aromas coming from Williams-Sonoma were calling my name and I do enjoy caressing the latest kitchen gadgets.  The store was very festive with fall and Thanksgiving decorations.  There was a beautiful display of Thanksgiving plates.

As I pondered purchasing turkey dessert plates for Thanksgiving, I remembered Grandmother Bessie's Autumn Leaf dishes.  Decision time:  Williams-Sonoma turkey dessert plates or Grandmother Bessie's Autumn Leaf dessert plates.

Guess who won?  Fortunately, the Autumn Leaf dishes are affordable and can be found in antique shops, etsy shops and on Ebay. 

And to the delight of AppleJack, I purchased new boots, not nearly as exciting as dessert plates.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

CVQA (Cumberland Valley Quilters Association)

Historic Franklin Quilt Show
St Philip Catholic Church
2nd and Main

Saturday was the perfect day for some girl time and there is nothing like a quilt show to sing to this girls heart.  Civil War Reproduction quilts, antique quilts, challenge quilts, vendors, tools, kits, fabrics and books--something for everyone.

Star of Bethlehem 
The colors in this quilt are bold and worked beautifully with each other.  There were tiny stitches in the hand quilting.

Applique album quilt.  Difficult to see in the photo but a beautiful hand quilted feather running down the outside border.

Bold use of color is this very challenging Judy Neimeyer design

A two color Burgoyne Surrounded--am gathering fabrics are reading construction direction for one of my own.

Sunbonnet Sue grows up and selects her formal for the dance.

Signature quilt

Irish Chain--the squares in this quilt were tiny

More beautiful appliqué and hand quilting

My favorite quilt in the entire show!  An antique quilt on loan from Carnton.  The maker of the quilt had signed and dated 1865.  It was exquisite and fragile and showing signs of wear.  Thousands of tiny stitches in the hand quilting.

Thank you CVQA for a wonderful show.  You made an overcast Saturday bright and beautiful with your quilts.  Motivation to get me off my hiney and finish up those half dozen quilts I have started!

I almost forgot to share one of my favorite star quilts.  This one is made from men's ties purchased from the Salvation Army, washed and fussy cut into stars.  Can't tell from the quality of my very poor photo, there is some really fancy hand quilting between those stars.  

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Garden Gate

Garden Gate by Stacy Nash
Stash Linen
NPI Silks
The stitching for Garden Gate has been completed for awhile, it has been languishing in my finishing pile.  The next Homespun Gathering is November 21 and is always fun to have completed projects to share.

I made a few changes.  I added a cartouche on the back.

For the inside, there is a wool pocket at the bottom to hold my thread winder and scissors.  The ribbon is from a kit and I added to the scissors.

The middle section is one half of the design for a pynkeep.  The outside is stitched with Nun's stitch and I added wool felt on the inside for needles.

The top is finished with Kelmscott needle rings for fibers.
Am still undecided about adding cording to the outside edge.  For now, I'm calling it a finish.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Farm

Stacy Nash Exclusive for Norden
Cherry Hollow Farm Sampler
36 count Weeks Dye Works Beige Linen
Weeks Dye Works Fibers

Yea!  A finish, a sampler, something to share at the next stitch-in.  I changed the year of the sampler to the year Grandmother Bessie and her family purchased and moved to their farm.  Instead of the three diamonds to the right of the letter "Z" I added the family name.  Another change was using Kudzu for the vine instead of cocoa.  A fun, small sampler to add to Grandmother Bessie's heritage wall.

With a finish also comes a challenge.  What's next?  Should I choose a WIP/PhD and have another finished  piece to share at stitch-in?  Maybe take a break from stitching and work on the star quilt.  Applique? Rug Hook? Start a new project?