Wednesday, August 19, 2009

An Unexpected Treasure Chest

Have you ever been asked to come to someone’s house to see a quilt?  You never know what you might see.  I’ve seen old poorly pieced tops that have holes, tears and stains.  I’ve seen quilts that have been used at some point to move furniture or be the bed for the dog having puppies. 

But every now and then you find a real treasure.  This is the case with the quilt you see here.   My mom was at my Great Aunts house and she said, “Come in here, I want toAunt Maggie Barns with her daddy's quilt show you something.”  As my Great Aunt started to pull out the quilt, packed deeply in a cedar chest, she started telling the story of the quilt.   She had gotten it from her daddy, who had gotten it from his Great Grandmother.  (my great aunt is now 89)  She can’t remember when she got it, but said it was probably some time in the 1950’s.  When mom saw the quilt, she asked if she could have it.  My aunt said sure, why not and it is now my mom’s quilt.  Of course I asked to have it next and my daughter will get it when I’m gone and too old to admire it anymore.

Mom is trying to trace back the family tree to find out exactly when my Great, Great, Great, Great Grandma Booth was alive.  We know that it was pre-Civil War and the pattern is called Washington Sidewalk.   It is absolutely fascinating that the maker was so diligent in cutting the fabrics so that strips went in the right direction in all of the pieces.  She also bought yardage for the quilt background. 

If only those threads could talk….What a wonderful family heirloom for a quilting family.   This is 4 generations under a quilt that is at least 150 years old.

Maggie Barnes, Becky Wassum, Winnie McCrary and Tess McCrary

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Too long gone...

Where have I been??? I can't believe that I haven't posted since May. I guess that summer time has me on the run more than expected. Work has also been crazy for some strange reason.

Several things have kept me away from the computer. I have been teaching some quilt classes, a little bit of gardening, vacation, trying to get caught up on my long arm customer quilts and the lose of my dear mother-in-law.

Let me take a moment to tell you about Nancy Ruth Calloway McCrary. I've heard a whole lot of jokes and comments from others about how horrible their MIL is to deal with. I can not relate to any of that. My MIL was a wonderful woman. She raised 6 kids, 4 boys and 2 girls, while her husband worked very hard to keep them with food on the table. She never worked outside of the home, but she worked very hard in the home. As a DIL, I was welcomed to the family with open arms. She was always willing to give advice when asked, but never once tried to tell me how to raise my children or treat my husband. She didn't just "drop in" at our home, she always called to be sure it was okay to come by and we were always happy for the visit. She didn't tell me how to keep my house, decorate, cook or clean, but I did know that she could always answer any question I had. Nancy died very unexpectedly on July 19, 2009. She will be greatly missed by all of us.

I'll post again soon...I just can't find any more words right now.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturday Morning

The husband has gone fishing, the kids are still in the bed. I have a hot cup of coffee.  There is nothing so peaceful as a quiet house in the early morning.  The only sound I hear are the clocks ticking in the family room and the keys on the keyboard clicking as I type this post.  As Ms Goodneedle would say, “Life is Good”

Why am I up so early?  Well, I placed a bid on eBay last night and went to bed before the auction ended.  My curiosity got the best of me and I had to know if I won or not.  Good news, I WON!  I am now the owner of a 1938 Singer Featherweight 221. 

I’ve been looking for a while (2 years) for the right price on one of these old black beauties.  I’ve been going to Estate auctions, antique shops and yard sales.  I couldn’t believe it when I saw this one up for auction.  I guess with the economy the way it is, people are more willing to part with their treasures for a little less money.  Anyway, dear husband said go for it and I did.

Yep, I’m dancing the happy dance this morning.   (Picture Snoopy, nose up and feet moving) Well at least in my heart anyway.  Don’t want to wake the dog or the kids.    Happy Day to all of you out there in blog land.

Heritage Quilter

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mother’s Day

What a wonderful Mother’s Day.  I spent the day with my family.  First, my church family.  The men of the church gave all of the ladies a day off.  From the organist to the choir.  Yes, we had an all male choir.  That was a first.

Second, lunch with my husband’s family at his mother’s house.  I think there were about 30 members present.

Third, a long afternoon with my mom.  While at her house, my brother called in from Ohio.  I got to talk to him for a long time too. I made mom a special Mother’s Day quilt.  All of the hands are tracings of us kids, spouses and my two kids.   She really liked her gift.

                    Quilts 100

My son surprised me with a spa package that they put together in his 3rd grade class.  Bath salts, an oatmeal soak and a facial of fresh mint leaves.

The husband and daughter gave me a really great gift.  A gift certificate to my Local quilt shop.  He is starting to support my hobby (addiction) more and more all the time.

Heritage Quilter

Monday, April 20, 2009

New Computer

Yes, it has been a while.  I now have a computer that is up and running.  Hope to have pictures up soon too.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

National Quilt Day

Yes, I know I'm behind, but it really was a great day. Mom, DD and I went to Charlotte for the guild quilt show. It was a really nice show with many, many vendors. I've been to large shows where a passport was issued for a vendor scavenger hunt, but never a small local show. It was a lot of fun for my daughter (and me) to go around to each vendor to get our card stamped. As we left the show, they had huge boxes to deposit the passport. The winner got a huge basket worth approximately $200 in quilt goodies. My phone hasn't rang, so I guess it wasn't my lucky day.
I did buy a few things, but nothing to show just yet. Here are a few pics of quilts from the show. Sorry, I don't have names.

This was another little cutie...each quilt had a color coordinated pin holding on the label. I just love little YO-YO's. Don't you?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Spring has Sprung

What wonderful weather we have had the last couple of days. Monday, we had 5 inches of snow. More than we have had in several years and yesterday, it hit 80 degrees. You just never know what March is going to bring. In the nice weather, we were all outside working in the yard. We have a very large, old oak tree in the front yard. About 20 feet up, the trunk had started to split. Afraid that it would break and damage the entire tree, my DH decided to have half of it cut. It was a beautiful tree. I hated to see it have to be cut at all, but I guess having part of the old fellow is better than none at all. Don't worry, nothing is going to waste. We heat our house with wood, so it will be used to keep us warm and toasty next winter.
You can see DH at the trunk. That is a little perspective on how large this tree is.

Chain saw in hand and a lot of work to do.
Even the kids jump in and help. ...okay, they were told to help. DD got to drive the 4 wheeler, so there was a little enthusiasm.

During the snow day, I was able to finish my Interpolated/Fractured quilt. Here it is all basted and ready to take to Show and Tell.

Here is a close up of one of the flowers. Pictures of the whole quilt just look blurry, but up close and in person it is really a cool looking quilt.

Enjoy spring,
Heritage Quilter

Friday, March 6, 2009

Pics to go with the post

Okay, as promised, here are the pics to go with the post!

This is the $5 block for February.

This is a customer's quilt...more to come later.

This will be the Row quilt once it is completed. Since I am doing the demonstration blocks, I can't put the whole quilt together just yet. So, more of this one later too.
You can see the design that has been created on EQ5 on my design wall just beside of the tree.

Now, it's back to work.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Where has time gone?

I guess I have just been that busy...time has flown by.

Here are some of the things I've been up to since my last post.

1. Laundry
2. Cooking supper
3. Cleaning house
4. Taxi for the kids
5. Work

Hey wait a minute, you don't want to hear about those things do you? WE ALL have been doing those things right?

How about the Quilty things I've been doing, do you want to hear about those?

1. 5$ BOM at Sew Original
2. Binding my Interpolation quilt
3. longarm quilting a customer's quilt
4. Scrap Therapy (my stash is now taking shape)
5. Teaching a Row quilt at my church to new quilters
6. Sewing my scrap quilt with Leaders and Enders

Sometimes there just isn't enought time to quilt, be a working-homemaker wife and mom and look a the computer. I would rather give up the title of working mom and just be a quilting homemaker, wife and mom. Not necessarily in that order. Wife and mom come first.

Hopelully, I'll have some pictures of the different projects I've been working on very soon.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Clocks, Clocks and more Clocks!!!

A couple of years ago, DH decided to take a clock repair class at the local community college. He was looking for something to piddle on during the long winter evenings when it gets too dark to work outside. Little did I know what a path this would lead us down.

First, we had to find an old, dirty antique clock that he could take to class. I really liked this part. We spent the entire day wondering around in antique shops. I LOVE antique shops. I just had to re-train my eyes to look for clocks instead of quilts, quilt books, sewing machines or oil lamps. (Another of my favorite things) He finally found a clock that he liked at a price we could afford. It helped that the clock didn't work! This is the clock. Isn't it beautiful?

During the class, I learned all sorts of new terms and saw the need for new tools coming through the house. Very tiny little tools. He set up shop on his work desk in the basement. The kids were not allowed to go near the clock or the parts. One big sneeze and the little screws and washers would go flying!

Clock fixed and now rest on top of our entertainment center. It keeps good time and has a beautiful chime.

Next on the list of clocks to fix was a Cuckoo clock that had been my Great Aunts. I have no idea how old the clock is, there was no date in the back or on the works. I just know that it is at least 65 years old. It hadn't worked in 30 years that I know of. As a child I remembered the clock on the wall at my Great Aunt's house. I would sit and stare waiting on the little bird to come out and bob his head.

Anyway, 30 years in a box does take it's toll. The clock was dirty. Layers of dust, dirt and the nicotine from a smokers house made the little clock a big job. DH was up for the challenge. He spent endless hours in the basement cleaning and repairing this clock. The hands and numbers changed from the brown that I knew into a pretty creamy white. The wood from dull to shiny and clean. Now, my son has taken on the job of pulling the chains to wind the clock twice a day.

We now have 3 clocks in the family room. We found another at an auction that DH had to have. All going off each hour. We have gotten so used to them, we don't' hear them anymore.

What a wonderful path we have traveled down together.

Loving the old stuff,
Heritage Quilter

Monday, February 9, 2009

Will it ever be finished?

My mom taught me to quilt about 20 years ago. She started by teaching me to hand quilt before teaching me to hand piece. I'm glad she did. The project was finished and I had a nice wallhanging for my bedroom. This is mom handquilting a baby quilt for my cousin.

After learning to hand quilt the wall hanging, I made several baby quilts out of panels that I could just quilt by hand and give as gifts. If she had started with hand piecing, I still wouldn't have a quilt. Soon, I was ready to tackle piecing. Mom had several quilting magazines and books laying around for me to find the perfect quilt. And wouldn't you know it, as a newbi, I would pick a very labor intensive pattern. Pieced hearts and diamonds set on point with half diamonds all the way around the border. Each heart block has 39 patches and there are 20 of them. Each diamond has 22 patches and there are 12 of those. Then you add in the setting half diamonds. There are about 1400 patches in this quilt. This is one of the hearts.

Want to talk about a UFO, this is my big one! After about 15 years, I have completed all 20 of the heart blocks and 2 of the diamonds. But, I'm still working on it. I don't even like the fabric anymore. But when I need something to do that is portable that I can work on with my hands, this is still the one I reach for when I have nothing else going on.

Why don't I just let it go you ask? I don't even know the answer to that. I guess it is because it was my first attempt at picking a pattern, first attempt at picking out fabric and first attempt at hand piecing. NONE of which were very good back then. But I'll still try to make it right. Maybe in another 15 years, I'll get around to quilting it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Post Op and $5 BOM

4 weeks ago today, I was released from the hospital after surgery. Everything went fine, just taking longer to recover than I expected. The doctor told me it would take weeks, but I thought I would be different. I'm not apparently. It took two weeks for me to even make it down the steps to the quilt cave. Talk about motivation. To keep a quilter away from her fabric is unthinkable. Even then, I couldn't stay for more than about an hour. A little cutting time, then a little time at the machine. I'm down there everyday now.

The first thing that I worked on was the $5 BOM from Sew Original in Winston Salem. This year, you could choose from 2 of 3 different color choices; black, blue or red. All are with white. Since I already have a black, white and red quilt (which you can see is my profile pic) I went with blue and red. But instead of a blue/white quilt and a red/white quilt, why not 2 red/white/blue quilts. One for each of my kids.

By switching just one fabric out of each kit, I will have one mostly blue quilt and one mostly red quilt. Here is a peek at the first months blocks. What do you think?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Family Tree

My mother-in-law has traced her mother's, father's, and husband's family tree back as far as she can possibly go. This was her hobby until she just didn't have any more graveyards or court houses to visit. She had a dear friend who went with her on all of these excursions. They even found out that they were related when they searched old birth and death records. She spent years researching and documenting. The result is a very well put together book that gets updated every couple of years with each birth, death and marriage. Looking back at the old pictures and copies of the documents is like looking back in time.

What does all of this have to do with quilting you ask? Well, knowing my mother-in-laws love for family and documentation, what better way to honor her than with a quilt documenting her family.

The idea came about two years ago when my father-in-law became pretty ill. He's better now, back to 100%. Well as he got better and other quilts were circling in my head, it got moved to the back burner. The spark ignited again with the realization that my husband's brother was diagnoses with a terminal disease. I was afraid that I would loose a valuable piece of this quilt with the loose of a family member and my mother-in-law's quilt wouldn't be complete.

Each member of the family had a piece in this family tree quilt, their hand. A real life sized hand, traced onto fusible web. These hands are the leaves on the family tree. Each leaf also has the name of the owner in the palm to document who is who. In the quilting below the tree, my in-laws names are quilted with the year 2008.

The youngest was about 6 months old when I traced his hand, the oldest is fifty six. All are the descendants of my mother and father-in-law. Kids, grand kids and great-grand kids. She loved the quilt when she received it on Christmas Eve. I hope you enjoy it too.

Heritage Quilter