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?