Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What If.... Mojo Going On

Lots of little stitches going on...lots of thoughts going into each... and the weirdest kind of crazy quilting I've ever done. Progresses being made but I'm not there yet.

One of the garden spots chosen and cleared by side of garage..... I'm thinking herbs and flowers.

This spot here is where the sun shines best... I see vegies going wild here next year. Much prep work necessary still but we've done well clearing out this whole area and lots to the left. Knowing where the sun shines is half the battle to planning a plot. (This pic is mid evening)

My camera battery is showing signs of quitting and my camera is one thing I won't live without. Also my Premarin RX is ready for pick up tomorrow, I have been taking 1 every 2-3 days to conserve them , not a good time to stop taking them all together. Looks like a trip to town is in order... yipee!


Thank you to everyone who has been dropping by and leaving support and wishes. You all mean more to me than you will ever know!!!! I

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Gorgeous Post Card from Connie

Connie from Life Scraps and Patches sent me this beautiful postcard she made. The silk is so pretty under the stiches. I met Connie through the Take It Further Challenge and I have been so blessed to have met some of the greatest people through that challenge. Thank you, Connie

Saturday, August 23, 2008

What If Ya Try and Work It Out on a Block?

Here's the pile of "to do's" but

theres nothing like undertaking something else...

especially something like this, giving these babies up... there's never a good time, a right time, a strong time and honest to God, I'm hooked and very afraid. To put my cigarette addiction out on the internet is like walking naked onto a stage, but there it is.... I did it..... and I'm mourning them before I even quit!
It's also becoming clear to me that I'm mourning more than that... my family and friends miles away, my life in the city, the cultural socialization and urban stimulation left behind. The North is a harsh place and I'm not on vacation anymore. 17 miles to town is no joke, the "Family Dollar" is not Macys, there's no such thing as pizza delivery and a good library book is intraloan with a 2 week wait. No one wears a skirt, the closest fabric store is 40 miles away and when its dark, its scary dark... you can't see your hand in front of your face. I wake up sometimes and wonder just where I'm at. Honestly it's good, I wouldn't change it ( maybe the library) but I'm still dealing with the sad around the edges. There's other things too, but a another story, another time....

So what if I put it all in one basket... one block... one goal... one redemption... one cigarette... one sorrow... instead of trying to carry the world on my shoulders... just deal with my losses one stitch at a time? Especailly this cigarette thing, what if I work it out on this black block ?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Vintage CQ Blocks 5,6,7,8 and 9

Another shot of the full view

Block 5... Bird and Butterfly

Block 6... another bird and butterfly, she must have enjoyed them along with her flowers

Block 7... "Chinese bagpiper" lives on this block

Block 8... center patch torn dogeared

Block 9 ... the whole center patch deteriated here, it appears as if it were a painted one.

Bird Close Up

Pitcher Detail

Kate Greenaway Motif

Could these be balloons ???? Well if they are , I'm ready to celebrate the upload of all these photos, 27 of them throughout the past few posts. I had to keep a list of what ones I'd done so I didn't get confused, which BTW, is easily done, but I think we got 'em and I hope you enjoyed looking them over.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Vintage Crazy Quilt View 4 and a "What If"

Block number 4 has a mish mash of patches, very simple and quite bare compared to others. Many curves on this one.

I think this fish going for the line is comical.

All of the fans seem to keep the same stitch technique throughout the blades.


I took this pic last weekend down at Roxys camp. This giant box was left over from a crate of river rock that K had put on his house front, the pallet ending up in her fire pit. Now I don't know if I'm turning into some sort of pyromaniac or what, but these fires are getting intriguing. I especially took this one as it made me think of Jude from Spirit Cloth and her other blog What If where other cloth lovers are joining in with "what iffing" and discovering unconventional concepts and ideas. The box, when it took fire, looked like a form of eyelet to me as the ribs of it burned. Paula Hewiits Eyelet , Judith, Threadspiders Eyelet, Jeanneherself Eyelet and Aceys Eyelet are a few more examples of what "eyed" been seeing.

The irony is that today, Jude posted a "What If" call for the redesign / refashioning of CQ blocks, What If We Get Crazy and here, Redefining Crazy Quilting . I think I'm ready to do alittle What Iffing myself with the CQ concept and couldn't help but get alittle excited when I read her thoughts ( or did she channel mine?? too spooky) Hhhhhhmmmm, this could get fun around here. Maybe this'll light my fire! Nothing else seems to be working lately...

Are you tired of the vintageCQ yet?? Hang on, a few more to go and we're almost done...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Vintage Crazy Quilt - View 3

This block has lost a few pieces in the shattering/shredding process but still holds some great stitched seams and hand painted squares. (please click for enlarged photos)

I've seen variations of this owl motif on other vintage quilts but mostly in pairs not 3's. The roped writing below them was cut off in this pic, I'll have to take another just of it. Janet from "Go Crazy With Me" commented on the last post that she thought the rope writing next to the Chinaman was a stylized date embroidered to read 1889. She's had alot of experience working with antique CQ and restoration. Now that she said that, I can see it. Another clue, thank you Janet.

Todays fan ringed out with the brown velvet and lazy daisy leaves. More areas of decomposition surround this fan.


We were able to finish up the wood clearing in the quadrant we picked this year (and then alittle more). This week was a constant bonfire to get rid of it all. One night I was out until 1 AM burning so late the dew settled on me. It was one of those velvety nights thick of stars to the ground. The cedar as it burned made zipping trails and arcs 10 feet high and the smell was awesome

I believe we've picked the spot to construct next years veg garden. Much more work to be done on that come fall and it's daunting making another planting plot. I've made so many in my life and for moving, have had to leave them. So much work but I have to have them, gardening is part and parcel of me. I've mostly been flying under the radar and staying off line as much as possible (hard to do) and don't know exactly where the past week has went but it has, more time spent on fire patrol, books and movie watching than anything else. That's OK, I obviously needed to.

With luck, I'll get view 4 up tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Vintage Crazy Quilt..... View 2

Each block where it joins the next is outlined in various stitches. A Kate Greenaway motif of a girl jumping rope is the central image on this one. Her illustrations have become a favorite of Redwork embroiderers. The wheat ears in upper left look to be a fluffy embroidery of some type. On closer look, they could have been made separate than sewn down? All the flowers on this block were embroidered, not painted as on some of the other blocks. The pitcher has some really tiny detail as well, 2 birds, a boat, a flag.... ( Don't forget to click for the blown up detail photos )

Now this little man is one of my favorites. He looks like a Scottish Bagpiper to me however he could be a Chinaman with a ponytail and fan?? What do you think? Notice the fray setting in on this piece.... (shameful!) I also have no clue as to the meaning of the ivory intwined rope to the right.

Here's a closeup of another fan.. I love the jewel colors of the silk.

Another view of the backing, a hodge podge of various foundation materials. Would love to know the era of the brown checkered cloth. It appears to be cotton but with a looser type of weave.

The lovely Miss Carole Samples was gracious enough to respond with her thoughts below. With any luck as I go along she will add more of her knowledge and thoughts about it....

"+++ I know that you want to continue to show photos and perhaps more close-ups of the various blocks, and I'm grateful for that. I probably need to see at least a dozen to sixteen photos before I can get a really good sense of the quilt's age, but I also have to agree with you with regard to the Kate Greenaway motifs. Her heyday for illustrating was from about 1885 until her death in about 1907 (my memory might be off somewhat and probably is) -- which means that the quilt wouldn't be older than her first published drawing but that it could have been made any time thereafter. It really has a pre-turn-of-the-twentieth-century look to it, though. It's fancy enuf to have been sewn in the mid- to late 1880s or anywhere up to 1910 or so. If only the quiltmakers of the time would have believed that their work would be saved and cherished for a hundred years and more, and that a whole bunch of ladies in the 21st century would want to know ALL about them! We'd have more names and dates, wouldn't we? +++"

Thank you Miss Carole! Please visit her at her blog, My Hearts Fancy

View 3 coming soon

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Documenting "Her" Vintage Crazy Quilt

I've been meaning to do this for some time... the light was great today and the grass was dry so I laid out "her" quilt and block by block, took photos. I'm hoping that the shots I captured will be clear enough for viewing both on this page and more so when you click them for the larger view.

I bought this quilt on Ebay back in 2005. It was when I first became interested in crazy quilting. ( I love to study and collect before I undertake anything (crazy, I know). I'd looked at several and I was smitten by this, especially at the Buy It Now price of $75. Some of the pieces are in the shattering stages but all in all, still viable as a whole quilt. I always see something new when I look at it. There are 9 -17" squares with a 8" blue velvet border. The total top measures out at 65" x 65".

The seller sent this reply (truthfully ?) to my question about it's origin... and I quote.." I am selling it for a Quaker couple ( from PA) who are downsizing and moving to Michigan. It belonged to the womans aunt so it is about 80 years old. It was stored in a cedar chest so does smell like mothballs. I've aired it out for several days and actually thought it was cleared of the smell. It seems to have alittle residual odor which I think can be dry cleaned out, or continued to be aired some more. If I get more info I will pass that on to you...Kathy".

Now I've never heard of a Quaker couple downsizing, have you? LOL Oh well...The moth ball smell was actually nill and the seller did not trump up the quilt or its condition. When I saw that the Quakers had "moved to Michigan", I thought, how cool is that? Fate!

I don't know how any one can lay claim to "owning" a quilt... especially when it was made by another. Especially a crazy quilt that has had the heart and soul of the maker sewn into it. The time alone is astounding on any CQ work. Hence I call it "her" crazy quilt... I'm just the keeper of it. That's why I want to share it....it does no good to languish in a box while it continues to shatter, fray and disintegrate (tho' I'm doing the best I can storing it). Who am I to keep some one elses joy wrapped up in my closet? Her work needs to be seen and studied by other lovers of CQ. I hope you have fun looking it over!

The maker remains unknown, other than (maybe) the monogram above? Who was this woman who sat hour after hour, needle in hand? What would she think if she knew it ended up on Ebay of all places! Who owned the hand that created these stitches? I'm sure she's moved on by now........but her work hasn't!

The foundation on the back is a pieced mix of homespun and flour sack. One corner wears a stamped hallmark from the Sayles Bleachery in Rhode Island and the patent for the sack itself reads 1869. Now we know thats the sack, not the quilt.... but it does add some fun. It's interesting reading about this company and it's history dating to the1840's.

Of course I'm not capable of dating this quilt exactly... but there is a Kate Greenaway motif of a girl jumping rope, paintings on velvet patches and quite a bit of silk used. Would I be wrong to venture the guess at 1890-1910 ??? Please help me out... all comments are more than welcome on this venture and it'll be fun to talk about it as I go along and post pictures through the next couple weeks.

I cropped the blocks as best I could and took photos of some of the various motifs.

There should be 8 more posts showing blocks and fans....

and several more motifs... if there's anything you'd like to see clearer, just let me know.


I'm working on organizing a few of my own projects and hope to post on some of my progresses soon. I feel like a heel for not having any "Stitch Along" work done but I'm planning how to work it into the whole of things. I've felt a drowning kind of feeling lately as life isn't co-operating with my "me time".... something tells me it never will... on to the next best remedy! Have I heard the word balance around the blogs lately?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Taking Steps...

Wolf Tracks at Beach Aug 08
I'm in the process of making some changes, both here and in the way I'm experiencing my life. I don't know who to credit this to but I've heard it somewhere in my past....
"If nothing changes, nothing changes."
It doesn't get any simpler than that.


Pieced... Now onto Embellishing...

Here's what I came up with using the fabric from the last post. (10" on finishing)

Some of these beads and buttons will probably find a place or two or three.

Threads up for consideration... ( and of course the colors not reading true to life)

Julys block is still staring me in the face, still being silent about itself and where it wants to go.

I'm working out some ideas in my head regarding this blog. I'm feeling kind of stale and repetitive with it and I'm hoping to change it up some, make it a tad more interesting... for you and me both. Change is in the air.... and balance has me thinking about it.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Birthing of Another CQ Block

Playing with fabric this morning and enjoying these few hours of "totally alone" time I get on Wednesdays. This is how I start putting my blocks together, pulling fabric that may or may not go together, both color and texture wise. I mix cottons with fancies and try to mix every other piece to give it some sense of movement. This is one of my most absolute favorite parts of a crazy quilting. Back to play, I'll post later what I came up with.
PS.. This is for August TIF.
(Thanks Paula Hewitt for the teal silk, the rust floral and Japanese blue print.)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sidewalk Sale-ing, Summer Waning

The Sidewalk Sale was last Friday and my friend Mary and I made a day of it. The Friends of the Library had their annual sale and no one left without a sackful of books. All the shops had tables set out and St Vincents had a 1/2 off everything sale where I found this nifty handpainted tie for a quarter. The tag tells that it was once sold at a now defunct mens store in town. I always love telling the clerk that I buy stuff to cut it up. They gasp then change their tune when I tell them its for quilting. The "ugly tie" now looked better with a certain appeal and a purpose other than being hideously displayed on the rack, the gasps turn to approving " ooooohhhhh's" and my weird purchases aren't as weird to them anymore. ( Yeah, my husbands gonna wear this tie to a wedding or something). We had lunch and enjoyed the people and the weather.

Now that August is here, the busy bee mentality of spring is long gone and a certain air of late summer laziness has taken over. The sun is hitting the trees at a different angle as it falls faster into the evening. Spiders are laying claim to the cracks and crevices of the outside walls, grasshoppers are fat and I no longer hear the Hermit Thrush singing in the forest. The coyote pups and their yip yap has turned more to a "teenage" serenade as the fawns are loosing their spots. All has it's season and I'm enjoying the fullness of this one.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Swap Block and Week Gone...

I finished my 10" block for the Where Are You swap and I tried to add as many things as I could that show different things about our state. Mainly I concentrated on water but was able to add Motown through a little button "record" I made, the Ford logo, the Tulip Festival, blueberries, robin nest (our state bird) snow, pines, hiking, and our "house". The under water scene, lake/waves, the beach and the little stream with the bear buttons got the water part covered. My lettering is atrociuos with much to be desired as well as my satin stitching but I think whomever gets this block will have fun looking at it. I sure had fun making it!

Colors for August TIF are out... and the theme being "balance" ?... oh my, what in the heck is that? see Sharons post here. I'm not done with July's yet but played around with picking colors from the chips and fabric, just so I can look at it and think. I'm surprised at colors I just don't have... the aqua, tealish blue? Nada. The terra cotta-ish orange? 1 piece.

The photos below are from last week... a beautiful summer day with blueberries ripening and many plants and blooms enjoying the sun. It was a perfect day for the beach and hard to believe we were the only people out there.

Mouth of the Huron (Huron Islands 4 miles out)


pitcher plant

hairy vetch (ugly name for such a pretty plant)

But this week there's a fallish kind of feel to the air and looking around, I can see the little signs of change in season. Heads up to the Aussies... the sun is headed home!

And last but not least is how my transition to grey is going.....( blogging confessions , Paula) I am truly very weird with this and don't know exactly how I feel except I know that one day leads to the next, some days are good, some are bad. This photo is extreme in that normally I wear it down in a headband in public, but wow, is it coming in or what?... this should have been my TIF for July, 1/2 way to grey, He he! Thank God for the Dove commercials that are seeing me through! ... if I get to the point , I'm only a box of Clairol away...

Till the next time...