Sunday, May 30, 2010

I have been away, but now I am back

I have been feeling low for several weeks now with no desire to blog. My dear friend passed away on Mother's day. I have been unable get myself together and find a subject anyone would be interested in. I began to think I had stopped caring about this. However yesterday I came across these pictures while looking for something else. The one above is not very good but if you look closely you will see that there is a quilt waiting to be born. The owner is my precious granddaughter, Elizabeth Evelyn, also known as Libby and more recently as Lizzi. She is twelve now and somewhere in her threes or fours we decided to create a quilt together. We spent an hour or so in the quilt shop where she chose these fabrics. Her mother, ( my daughter was pretty concerned about her choices and suggested that I influence those choices. No way, Libby's quilt, not mine and not her mother's. In any case, I cut those fat quarters into three and a half inch squares. Libby played with them for a couple of days and arranged and rearranged until her baby dolls approved and then we were good to go.

The next morning I stitched the squares together under her watchful eyes. Sometimes there were four or five of the same fabrics in a row, but she was liking it a lot so who was I to question her art?

Wrong order, but since I have not blogged for awhile, I will simply point out that we tied the quilt. Libby was such a good helper! I tied and she held the perle' cotton strands so they could be trimmed.
We did some basting under the eye of LC most of the morning. Libby told me that her dog was always around when humans were at the kitchen table. Apparently the puppy was simply being opportunistic. Libby was quick to warn me that if we dropped any fabric, LC would be right there to scoop it up!

More basting!

Finished. She was so proud. These were her fabric choices, her layout, her first sewing project and she was a pretty exacting fore woman.

Now, how sweet is that? Libby is twelve now and while this is the broody time, we still bake together, and sew together. Don't tell her that I told you that she still treasures the little pink crocheted blanket barely visible in the photo. She is way too hip for that now. We will soon be making sundresses for Miss Lucy. I hope that whether you are a mom or grand mom like me, that you can find the time to do creative things with the children in your life. This memory helps me to feel better and I hope you are pleased to share it with me

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

Of course I always think of my mother on Mother's day. She was only fifty-nine when she died and I think of her almost everyday, even after all this time. I am the oldest of ten children and therefore have memories of her that are perhaps very different from those of my younger brothers and sisters. I did not appreciate some of those experiences at the time but have come to know that those times shaped who I am today. There was never very much money but somehow she made sure we felt special. My first memories are of a time near the end of world war two and my Dad was serving in Europe during the occupation. I remember Oleo in clear plastic (?) bags with a button of red dye. It was a treat to be the one to squeeze the bag until the margarine was a pretty shade of yellow. There were air raid drills, blackout shades red paper pennies, liberty stamps and Mom baking cookies and turning the radio louder so my brother and I would not be afraid. Later, there was first grade. Our school did not have kindergarten so the principal would decide if you were mature enought. Of course I was but the following year my brother Bucky (Bob) spent the first week or so in the hall crying to go home. I occasionally remind him that I am still the most mature. Mom was always the one holding the family together. She and I were a team, caring for the house and the next baby born in to our family. I am not saying I was always happy with this arrangement, I did go through the teen years after all. But I do remember little things that are bigger in my minds eye today. When I entered high school, mother took me aside and told me that I would be getting two dollars a week allowance so I could get a burger and fries at the Buc's Cove just like the other students instead of the cafeteria every day. Boy, that was even enough money to buy a chocolate or cherry coke at the Blue bell cafe on the way home from school! I know now that was a financial sacrifice. Mom had only a ninth grade education and I knew she was proud of me. The weeks before graduation she and a friend took me shopping for a dress, the first store bought dressy dress and it was the most beautiful dress I had ever owned. She died just a few months after my own daughter graduated from high school and one of her gifts to Kelly was a beautiful coming of age letter. Who knew that this woman with limited education was so smart? I did! The card above is one I gave her when i was around eleven years old. It is rather large.

I hope that you notice that the dad is ironing his tie while Mom cooks, vacuum's and does laundry. It was the fifties after all.

Mom's life was hardly that of a queen, but she was royalty nonetheless.

I remember some of her Mother's days. The little Evening In Paris bottle above resembles and is in the right time frame for when I bought for the most beautiful mother in the world, the most beautiful perfume. And I bought it at the dime store No less!! I will always see her opening that bottle immediately and dabbing it behind her ears. Do I know today that she actually liked the scent? No, but she made me believe she did. My beautiful Mother with white rick rack earrings knew how to make a child feel special.

The last gift I remember giving in those young years was the McCoy pottery dutch shoe. Unfortunately this is not the shoe I purchased at that same five and dime. That one went missing after she passed. However, I knew she kept it close and when I found this one in an antique store for thirteen dollars, I bought it for old times sake. I paid perhaps three dollars for the original but worth the price to have something that reminds me of my Mother. I hope your Mother's day was full of good memories, good food, (cooked by someone else of course) and family you love with all your heart. I know mine was.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Because she requested this of me

A friend has requested that some of her friends finish a quilt she herself will be unable to complete. I was asked to make the label. This quilt is The Bird of Paradise" quilt, though some call it "The Civil War Bride" quilt. I reduced some of the elements in the design, culled the things I could use and this is the result. it is a fairly large label, but still manageable. The nest of eggs represents, at least for me, Jody's family including herself, standing by her family. The bird is another layer of care and the female figure a strong, caring and dear reminder to appreciate and tell those you love that you love them on a regular basis. Jody wants her quilt to be called "Bird of Paradise, Interrupted." This was perhaps the most difficult part of the label for me. I fight against her life being interrupted. Jody is one of the nicest people I have ever known with a sweetness to her that is unusual today. She is a remarkable quilter, and an even more remarkable friend. I love her and I know she loves me as well. I am so honored to have a place in finishing this wonderful quilt for her and her family.

Paducah and a few of my favorite things

I know it has been too long since I last posted and I hope you are still watching. It has been a long month and I have not felt that I have much to say on the positive end of things. Going to the Paducah quilt show did lift my spirits for awhile, but still I wrote nothing. But here I am again and hope to be posting and a regular basis once again. This is Valeta Hensley, a friend of mine and member of the same TAS group and her major prize winning quilt, "Fashionable Ladies of the Twenties". Valeta's work is always original and impeccable. This really is one of my favorite quilts at paducah. Way to go Valeta! I believe she is going to show our group how she makes these beautiful faces and I will be in line for that.
This is "Tea With Miss D" by Sandra Leichner. This quilt caught my eye when I realized that in addition to the tea pot in the center there are cupcakes in the corners and borders of pretty little spoons with bows. sweet. Now if I weren't so tired tonight i would correct the little issue of the detail pictures of the above information is below the following two quilts. have a look and be kind, I am tired!
This is "Mountain Holly and the Rare Red-Berried Mistletoe" by Jan Cunningham. I was taken in by the scalloped edge and am always a sucker for berries and mistletoe.
"Indiana Starburst" By Judy Morton, Lydia stoll and Miriam Graber is a lovely jewel. The applique is flawless and this interpretation of a much loved vintage design, perfect.
Remember "Tea With D" shown above. here are the close ups I promised. In addition to those really cute spoons, if you look closely, you will see strawberry tarts. There also buttons, a personal favorite of mine.

Another view of the same quilt reveals the addition of tea bags and those adorable cupcakes. I love this quilt!

"Animal Book" bu Magumi Mizuno of Japan is a really charming quilt that adults and children alike were drawn to linger. Every square inch has something charming to say.

"The sweet memories are Forever in my Heart" is a beautiful interpretation of a vintage American quilt. perfectly done.

"Always a bloom In My Garden" caught my eye because of the great workmanship and the energy caused by the diagonal sashing. It is also a happy quilt. Made by Hazel Ashworth.
The Paducah show was memorable and really fun. It was so interesting to wander through the Expo and a little scary to walk through the enormous pavilion. It was kind of like a blow up tent on steroids! Seriously through, it solved a big problem for the venue and provided the extra room needed for smaller exhibits as well as space for more vendors. Nothing wrong with that!