Sunday, June 29, 2014

What's in a name?

Harry Tyler's Lion
Heart String Samplery
Stash Linen
Williamsburg Blue NPI Silk

Families you gotta love them!  I often refer to my family as the good, the bad and the ugly.  Like most families, my family is full of characters--some brave and noble, some pranksters, some who have made unwise choices and poor decisions.  One of the many wonderful traits which endeared me to Grandmother Bessie's heart was her memories of her family (and neighbors) and living in the mountains--The Great Smokey Mountains.

When I had a sleep over at Grandmothers, the two of us would look at old photographs.  She would identify the people in the photograph and tell me about them.  There were many funny stories about the pranks Grandfather Isaac and his eight brother played on each other.  Stories about Grandmother Bessie living with her mother-in-law, Sarah Miranda while her house was being built and sad heart breaking stories about the sickness and death of Grandmother Bessie's Mother and her two sisters.

When I first started stitching samplers, I was encouraged by fellow needle workers "to make the samplers personal.  Stitch something on them which make them mean something to you."  So I did, and I have and I will continue to do so.  Each time I stitch something with a name, or initials or a year, I do some family research and incorporate a tiny piece of my family history into the piece.

Here is my connection with Harry Tyler's lion.

Emeline Rogers was born November 3, 1829 in Haywood County North Carolina.  Emeline married Jackson(?) Ferguson and they had a daughter, Margaret.  

Margaret Ferguson was born February 27, 1855 in Haywood County North Carolina.  Margaret married Peter Lafayette Noland.  Margaret and Peter had a daughter who they named Laura Jane.

Laura Jane Noland was born August 6, 1871 in Haywood County North Carolina. In January 1885, Peter, Margaret and Laura moved from Haywood County North Carolina to Sevier County Tennessee.  Laura married James Lawson Shults (Shultz--a census taker changed the spelling) and one of their five daughters was named Bessie Ann.

Bessie Ann Shults was born September 29, 1899 in Sevier County Tennessee.  When Isaac returned home to Sevier County after his military service he and Bessie Ann were married.  Bessie and Isaac had five children--four sons and one daughter.  Their fourth child and third son was named Roe Henry.

Roe Henry was born January 4, 1927 in Sevier County.  When Roe returned home to Sevier County after his military service, he married Dorothy.  Roe and Dorothy had three children--two daughters and one son.  I am one of their daughters.

What's in a name?  Emaline Rogers Ferguson is my Great, Great, Great Grandmother.

Now back to Cotton Bird.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Weekend Workings

Weekends--they come and go so quickly.  I often feel I have nothing to show for them.

The dayliles are blooming and are glorious.

The winter of 2014 was longer and colder than most winters we have had in a long time and I was afraid the dayliles had been adversely affected.  They are hardy boogers--good thing--most plants at Thistle Manor are on the get tough or die program.

While working in Next Year, I got about a million bug bites and a case of poison ivy on my pinkie stitching finger.  

The beauty of the flowers is worth every itch and scratch.

When I wasn't pulling weeds and scratching mosquito bites, I was working on the French Braid quilt.  The French Braid quilt was going to be my July Fourth three day week end project.  When I realized how little work I had done on the quilt and the amount of work which needed to be done, I knew it was time to get started.

I have an appt with the long arm quilter in August.  Most of the fabrics used in the French Braid quilt are French General and Blackbird both Moda fabrics.    

Am so close to having Harry Tyler's lion stitched, I threaded up my needle with the Williamsburg Blue and started stitching.

Throw in some laundry, writing minutes for a home owners meeting, oil change and Sunday afternoon lunch with AppleJack and that wraps up my weekend.  

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Farmer's Fancy

Yes it's true I have a love affair with fabric.  AppleJack says I will buy fabric before I will buy food.  Not true, I also love to eat good food.  Yesterday, when I posted about backing fabric for some of my projects several asked questions about the fabric for Harry Tyler's lion.  The fabric for Harry Tyler's lion is manufactured by Windham Fabrics and the fabric line is called Farmer's Fancy.  The inspiration for this line of fabrics came from The National Museum of American Coverlets.  For more information about Farmer's Fancy by Windham read here.

The Harry Tyler lion fabric really caught by eye the first time I saw it at the quilt shop, I purchased the fabric in both the red and blue.  I used the red fabric as the backing fabric for my bow tie quilt and I will be using the blue fabric as the backing fabric for Harry Tyler's lion designed by The Heartstring Samplery.  Beth at Heartstring Samplery also drew inspiration from the Harry Tyler coverlet from The American Coverlet Museum and she writes a brief account and history.

This is the red version of Farmer's Fancy Harry Tyler's lion.  I used this on the bow tie quilt.  The fabric is 44-45" wide, I matched the design and sewed the two pieces of fabric together so it would look like one piece of fabric.  By doing this, it makes the quilt reversible and when I tire of looking at red bow ties, I can turn it over and it looks like a coverlet.  With a repeating pattern, there is always some waste.  I was glad there was some left over fabric so I can use it in other projects.  Grandmother Bessie drilled waste not, want not into my head.

I used this Farmer's Fancy fabric for the backing fabric on the Patriotic HST quilt.  Again, I matched the design and sewed the fabric together to look like one piece of fabric making the quilt reversible.  

More Farmer's Fancy--Betty, the awesome finisher, fussy cut the fabric to match part of the design on the front.  The colors in the fabric perfectly match the colors on the front.

This is the blue which I will be using for the backing on Harry Tyler's lion.  I have some ideas floating in my head thinking I can make this piece look like a small reversible coverlet for a doll bed.

There are more designs in the Farmer's Fancy fabric line at the quilt shop which I have not purchased but think they are really pretty and would work well in either a quilt or for backing fabric.  Hope this information is helpful and I hope I can sweet talk AppleJack into driving me to the quilt shop for more fabric.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Colonial Gatherings

Look what AppleJack picked up for me at the LNS shop today!  It's The Strawberry House (Academy) kit #2 of the Colonial Gatherings Club.  Betty, the finisher is awesome!

  I always know her finishing is going to be exquisite when the shop owner begins the conversation with "she's just outdone herself."  AppleJack painted the box for me with milk paint and I found some Jo Morton fabric in my fabric stash which I thought would work.

On Friday, the mail man delivered kit #3 Cotton Bird.  This is the second design by Paulette at Plum Street Samplers.  I ripped open that package from Dying to Stitch faster than a child opening presents from Santa at Christmas.  

35 ct. Old Mill Java linen from R & R and Classic Colorworks Floss--yum, yum.  Classic Colorworks Floss is new to me and this is my first time stitching with it.  With colors with names like Avocado, Cherry Cobbler, Persimmon and Old Money it's hard to go wrong.  

I couldn't wait to thread my needle and sink those beautiful colors into the linen.  This is a truly enjoyable piece to stitch.

I have been racking my brain thinking about how I want to finish Cotton Bird.

I'm thinking about finishing it as a purse (like the one above)using some stash fabric on one side and the design on the other side?  What do you think?

I found this fabric in my stash (yep, Jo Morton, she's hard to beat)and think it might work.

No, I haven't forgotten about Harry Tyler's lion.  There is still stitching to be done but he's coming along.

Check out the cool fabric I found at the quilt store for the backing.  

2014 is going to be my year of Colonial Gatherings!  I have so many in-between projects I want to stitch to add to the Colonial Gatherings kits it's hard to go to sleep at night.  Maybe I'll just stitch a little later and pay the price in the morning.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Flag Day

July Fourth is acknowledged and celebrated as America's birthday.  The flag has its own special day--June 14.  

A Wisconsin school teacher thought the flag should have its own day and B. J. Cigrand arranged for his students to observe June 14 as the flags birthday.

Betsy Ross is most often given credit as the seamstress behind the flag; however Betsy was merely one of several flag makers in Philadelphia.  Betsy's contribution to the flag was changing the six pointed star to a five pointed star.

Sorry Betsy, you would have nixed this star.

My favorite story about the flag is the flag which flew over Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812.  As Major George Armistead began preparation to defend the city of Baltimore from a British naval attack, he met with General John Stricker and Commodore Joshua Barney and "expressed a desire for a very large flag to be flow over Fort McHenry."   General Stricker and Commodroe Barney commissioned a local flag maker, Mary young Pickersgill to make the flag.  Major Armistead wanted "a flag so large that the British would have no difficulty seeing it from a distance."  Mary's flag was made from cotton and dyed English wool bunting and measured 30 x 42 feet and took about six weeks to make.  Mary was paid $405.90 for her work.  This is the flag which inspired Francis Scott Key to write a poem entitled Defiance of Fort McHenry or Defense of Fort McHenry.  This poem set to music became the song The Star Spangled Banner.

The flag as we know it today is thirteen stripes and fifty stars.  The thirteen stripes represent the original thirteen colonies and the stars represent the states--one star for each state.  The color red symbolizes hardiness and valor, white represents purity and innocence and blue is for vigilance, perseverance and justice.  The white stars sit on a blue field which represents a new constellation.  

To celebrate Flag Day, AppleJack and I will have a picnic on the porch.

Captain William Driver, the man who named the flag Old Glory is buried in Nashville's City Cemetery.  Each year in celebration of Flag Day there are special Flag Day events held at the cemetery.

Before I begin my Flag Day celebrations, I have a few thousand weeds to pull!

Flag Day 2014!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday reasons to smile

The week began with rain and ended with rain.

The day lilies started blooming this week.

The blooms on Miss Oak Leaf Hydrangea are beginning to turn blush pink.

Next Year brings me endless joy and many reasons to smile.

I have a huge to do list for the weekend:  decorating for Flag Day tomorrow, stitching on Harry Tyler's Lion, shopping for AppleJack for Father's Day, pulling some of the 10,000 weeds growing in Next Year, watching the Morning Doves feeding their babies, a trip to the Farmer's Market.  Whew!  I think I am tired already.  Maybe I'll just stitch--the mailman delivered a pkg from Virginia Beach today!

Friday, June 6, 2014


The Scarlet House
Coverlet Birds
Stash linen (36 ct, I think)
NPI silks

This is my remembrance piece--I started this the weekend my eye blew.  Grandmother Bessie taught me to "find a way to make it work."

Here's the back--pretty awesome.  Betty, the finisher is amazing.  I love the way she fussy cut the backing fabric.  The fabric is Farmer Fancy coverlet--makes the piece reversible.

Tomorrow I'm off to the quilt shop, am hoping to find some more Farmer Fancy coverlet fabric to use for the backing for Harry Tyler's lion.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Whale of a Tale

Does anyone remember this?

This is the whale from Liseanne Miller's Three Bags Full class (November 2013 at Montgomery Bell Bell State Park in Dickson, TN).  The class was right before the holidays and when I returned home, the whale got beached.  AppleJack says I can rationalize any project.  Shortly after the holidays, my eye blew.

Then. . .Jan came to my rescue (again).  My coping mechanism for stress is pulling weeds, Jan's coping mechanism is (rug) hooking.  Jan is the primary caregiver for her aging parents and in-laws and (rug)hooking is her outlet!  Lucky me!

Jan needed an outlet and an irritated eye and wool fuzz are not a great combination.  It was a win win for both of us.  Thank you Jan for coming to my rescue and bringing the whale to life.  Isn't the swirling water awesome?

Liseanne is having a one day hooking event in Clarksville in July called Beat the Heat.  I need another project like I need a hole in the head.  My eye is still recovering from surgery #2 and I am still debating about signing up for the class.  It is motivating to see others projects to feel the energy and excitement of a new class project, to share some giggles and laughs and eat some delicious food.  While I decide about attending Beat the Heat, I will be thankful for Jan and enjoy the whale swimming in the ocean blue.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Weekend Work

Three day weekends are wonderful and productive!  Yard work was on my agenda for Memorial Day--Mother Nature had rain on her agenda, I adjusted my plans and finally finished the piecing of the HST (Half square triangle)  patriotic red, white and blue quilt.  With this finish, my mojo was charged and this weekend, I added the borders to the quilt.  Let's not talk about the length of time I have had the border fabric in my stash.   With this accomplishment and to get the flimsy ready for the long arm quilter, I sewed the backing fabric together.  This week she's off to the long arm quilter.

Feeling good about my progress and having time on a Saturday afternoon--I put the petal to the metal on the old sewing machine and the tumbler pieces of this wall hanging also became a flimsy.  This was my first time using the tumbler tool and it is a hit!  (Let's not talk about the length of time these pieces have sitting on my quilt board.

While I was dashing through my fabric stash looking for backing fabric for the flag wall hanging, I found another PhD (project half done).  This is the French Braid quilt using the binding tool.  July Fourth is on Friday this year--another three day weekend and a great time to get this flimsy stitched.

Dying to Stitch will soon be shipping kit #3 of The Colonial Gathering Club.  (Drop by Paulette's blog at Plum Street Samplers for a glimpse).  I had hoped to have Harry Tyler's Lion stitched before it arrived but. . . 

Mojo  I love you!  Please hang around for a long, long time!