Monday, May 14, 2012

iPhone-o-gram! Uh oh!!

Reasons not to leave a bobbin in your pocket---

It will come out of the laundry looking like this!!

Taming of the Strash!

So many have asked HOW I start to deal with two trash bags full of random scraps in different sizes of hunks and chunks and strips and pieces ---that I thought I’d show you what I’ve done so far.

((The original post, A Gift of Strash, is found HERE.))

I was SUPPOSED to be packing for my flight to Illinois tomorrow, but you know? I couldn’t make myself just put the strash back into the black bags for fear that some well meaning family member would just dump it come trash day! Heaven forbid!

So…I ignored my to-do list and sat on the floor and sorted. I sorted anything that was poly-blend or stuff that wasn’t good for my quilt making OUT.

And then I sorted into piles…some by color family, and some by genre, and some --- just solids.

Wanna see how much better it looks?

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There was more BLUE than anything. I just put any blue that I wanted to save into the blue pile. At this point I’m not worried about whether it will become strips, or be folded and tucked into the FQ drawers – It’s just…BLUE.

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This is my red pile. See that red with the swirly dots? There is quite a bit of that and I love that print, so it will probably be folded and tucked away in my FQ drawers….there are several big hunks of this.

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There was a very small pile of purple ---

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But quite a lot of pink! Some of these pinks may be light enough to use as “neutral lights” but for now, they are pink so they go in this pile.

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Yellows and golds and browns….

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Lovely greens --- do you recognize any of these?

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Just a few printed blacks, and a handful of oranges ---

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HUGE stack of florals and fruits! Just when I think I cleared them all out in Florabunda ----Hello, Again! I tend to keep busy florals together because they usually don’t tend to read as one color ---do you think there will be more floral quilts in my future? What can we do to use these up?

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A fun pile of novelties to add to my novelties box --- these are great for I-spy type kid quilts. I used several of these in my Story-Time Stars quilt ---now I’ll have more variety for the next baby quilt I need to do. ((I’m wondering who is going to announce that they are expecting at the Family Reunion on 4th of July – that’s usually where this kind of news is let loose!))

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HUGE stack of woven plaids and stripes – These are awesome! Must find something to do with these ----There were a couple of Christmas pieces too – those are in the top right of the photo. In with the Christmas fabrics they will go.

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A small handful of 30’s ---these will go right into my 30’s bin. I do keep 30’s fabrics together rather than separate by color with these.

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Sweet neutrals & lights – I can ALWAYS use these – they are one thing that is always leaving my stash – and I love lots of variety.

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Solid muslins in several different shades. These are always a welcome addition too –I love how they look when mixed with plaids and stripes and old fashioned looking fabrics – timeless!

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There was quite a lot of solid black in all different sizes of pieces too ---I last cleared out my “odd black” stash when I did Rectangle Wrangle, and now I’ll have some more solid blacks to work through! There were some other solids in a variety of colors as well….makes me want to do some Amish kind of piecing ---can I just add more time to my calendar, please? I want to sew!

Where do I go from here with these piles? It will have to wait. I’ll go through and see what can be stripped up into uniform sizes and added to my strip drawers. What can be folded and filed away with FQs –and what will just wind up in the string bins. All I know is I am happy to adopt these pieces and will have a load of fun using them!

That's probably all you'll hear from me this evening -- I've gotta get a suitcase packed and finish loading up the quilts into the big duffels ---heading to the airport at 7:30am!

Have a great evening, everyone!

A Gift of STRASH!!



It started out as a typo ---because I was uploading photos, wanting to put them in a subfolder called STASH….but that T and that R are awful close together on my keyboard, and by the time they were uploading and I saw where they were going, it was firmly ----STRASH.

And I’m laughing to myself at how apropos this is because….well….let me back up.

Lisa called me last week telling me she had some shop stuff for me. More like “What do we do with this STUFF? Give it to Bonnie, she uses EVERYTHING!” And I’m game for stuff like that, especially if it involves a buffet Indian lunch at Nawab ---

We agreed that Karen should join in on the fun, and we had a terrific lunch and spent some time laughing and catching up. I’d go there just for the hot tea, seriously – it is THAT good. Must be the spices and cardamom that they put in it – but I love their tea!

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You see that rainy mess through my windshield? This is the flood that I drove through to get to lunch --- it’s time to float out the dinghy, the rain has been coming down like this for hours. A drenching spring rain. And everything is so green and happy ---except for those of us who chose to venture out in it, come heck – or HIGH WATER as the case may be!

After lunch, I followed Lisa to her car to transfer the goods --- mind you, I’m thinking that there are a couple grocery sized bags of STUFF ---

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Holy Black Trash Bags, Batman!

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I dumped it out to find out what exactly was inside ----Wheeeeee!!!

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Can I just roll around in this? Nekkid? LOL!

Jeff just came into the studio where this huge pile is on the floor, and said, “Holy Cow!! There must be 5 quilts worth there!” Or more, son, or more!

And this is where someone else’s trash becomes my stash --- Stash + Trash = STRASH!!

Thanks, Lisa – you can nominate me to adopt the unusable ANY TIME! It’s going to be fun turning this into wonderful scrap quilts!

Now just WHERE do I start to sort this?

Album Quilt with Apples, 1850?

I’m unsure of the date on this one, precisely ---and it was cut off on the photo I took of the info sheet. If Susan is reading this, maybe she can correct me ---but let’s just say it has MANY MANY wonderful turkey reds of the time period, and better than that, inked signatures!

When we opened this one up, the first thing I noticed was the WONDERFUL apples appliqued in the border, and just like the quilt I showed you YESTERDAY, she must have run out of that one green after applying the borders to the quilt because she had to use a second green to turn the corners and complete the applique! I love things like this, it just shows so much character.

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We spread the quilt out on the examining table. And while it looks like a traditional “album” block the way “we” would piece it, some differences were evident right off ---

The blocks are NOT square…they are octagonal --- they have no corners. The blocks are joined where “we” would have put corner triangles, and the smaller alternate blocks are inset! Take a look:

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Can you see the piecing line of the smaller inset square? And how the blocks are joined without corner triangles?

You can see the double pumpkin seed quilting in those alternate blocks as well..oh, what a great quilt!

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We wondered if the blocks weren’t made by different makers, because there was some stretching and easing going on to get those corner squares to line up with the next square they were being joined to. Can you see it in the photo above?----is this indicative of a “group” project?

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The list of signatures is long, and I’m glad someone else has done the deciphering because I had a hard time reading the names ---look at the list above, how many Jane Hasbroucks do you see? And are you interested in reading Julia’s Diary?

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Celeste Relyea

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Jane Hasbrouck

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Anna Wurtz

((Love that print!! Yummy! I also love how the diamond shape is quilted around the name!))

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Solomon Elting

((I want this fabric too!!))

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This was the most beautiful signature of all---

Georgianna Hasbrouck

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I loved the fabric in this block as well…isn’t this cool? And you can see..there was some fudging going on to get the blocks to fit together –that’s what leads me to believe there may have been more than one block assembler!

Let’s see more of that apple border, shall we?

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I wonder what the significance of the apples were. I love how BIG they are in comparison to the blocks. Do you think they had apple orchards near by? They are just SO GREAT!

The stems on the apples are embroidered in chain stitch, and there is a lot of embroidery detail on the apples too:

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Maybe it’s true what they say – an apple a day will keep the doctor away!

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My cohorts in quilt inspection busy at work!

I am still so thrilled that I happened to sit down at an outside lunch table during the Somers show –right across from Susan ((on the left)) just as she was finishing up her lunch. What are the chances of that happening in a million years? That we would strike up a conversation, discover we shared a love of antique quilts and history, and that she would invite me up to view the quilts and tour the area? It just goes to show if you don’t open your mouth to speak and get to know the person next to you, you might miss out on a wonderful opportunity that can bring wondrous things to your life!

My hope is that I can get up to New Paltz again and see more of the quilts that I didn’t get to see – time ran out for me and I needed to hit the road---and delve more into the interesting history of this area!

PS--- this just in from Susan:

Well, I will know for sure this afternoon when Ashley (the curatorial assistant at Huguenot Street) checks our paperwork, but I think the quilt dates to around 1850. I have images of several of the people whose names are on the quilt. Most are New Paltz locals and descendants of the original Huguenots who settled this town. And a big thank you to Bonnie for posting so many of our beautiful quilts on this blog!
~Susan Stessin, Director of Education at Historic Huguenot Street, New Paltz, NY.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

iPhone-o-Gram! Evening Quick Fix!

I hope you have been enjoying your Mother's Day!

In between everything here I just had to take time to do another little block for my Jubilee Quilt from Randy's sew-a-long!

Lots of little pieces in a 6" block!

Sophia handled it just fine!

This one is "Union Square."

Double Wedding Ring Give-Away at Inklingo!

Linda has announced the winners of the Double Wedding Ring Shape Collection over on her Inklingo page!

From Linda:

As you know, it started with one prize but we doubled it. The two winners were announced on the blog this morning, but Monkey is SUCH a softie that everyone wins!

How? We have made the Double Wedding Ring Design Book FREE until Friday May 18 at midnight (Eastern). It is a $20 value, normally $10 or free with the purchase of a shape collection.

We also put the DWR shape collection on sale for the same time.

Click the Double Wedding Ring Icon below to get to Inklingo!

From there click the blog tab at the top of the website to view the winners and find out more info on the freebies!

Happy Mother's Day, Everyone!

Paper-Cut Applique With Birds, Circa 1850

First off, I want to wish everyone a Happy Mother’s Day!

If you are a mother, had a mother, mothered anyone else's children, cared for other creatures be they two legged, four legged, or winged ---this day is for you! Mother’s day is not even gender-specific in my book.

If you have ever put the care of another above your own needs, you qualify. Thank you for all you bring to this world! You certainly make this world a gentler place to live. Thank you for sharing part of your life with me.

This next quilt I want to show you was SO fabulous – and again, not for its perfection, but wow…what a lot of WORK went into this beauty!

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Paper cut applique is started much like the paper snowflakes we made as children. The paper is folded into fourths, or eights as in the case of this quilt, and the design is cut out to make the main block pattern. The cut out paper design is then traced onto the fabric, and either appliqued to the base fabric in a cut-away process where the fabric is trimmed as the needle turning progresses, or the whole block can be cut out, basted to the base block, and appliqued by needle turn. The red flower tufts and buds are tucked in and added as well.

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The maker did all her applique work with a white/cream thread. her stitches are fine, but visible ---and how happy I am to see them!

Would you believe this blue fabric was once green? Green wasn’t a stable color at this time, and blue fabric was over-dyed with yellow to produce green. The only problem was, over time – the yellow would wash away leaving a teal blue.

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The winding vine border is adorned with a pair of birds at the center of each side of the quilt…..look at those skinny legs and the open beaks! The background area up to the border was filled with elongated clamshell shapes….it looked like they were “finger” size, meaning, she could easily mark around the tip of her finger as her “template” to fill in the background quilting. I guess that way you never wonder where your template ran off to!

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The block corners are filled with a really pretty leaf spray ---the applique itself has no quilting in it.

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Oh, another interesting thing that you can probably barely see here because of the blur --- the corner vines ---- they are of a different green fabric! Evidently the borders were appliqued in long lengths before joining to the quilt, and then the corner vines are added after the borders have been joined to the quilt center…she must have run out of that “Main” green for the quilt center….because all 4 corners have this different green where the corner turns. LOVE IT!

Without that green being different, we wouldn’t know the order in which she built her quilt top!

Though it was a rainy day, we ventured out to go take a quick tour of a couple of the old stone houses on the Historic Huguenot Street ---I also found a virtual tour of the houses HERE so you can see what I missed!

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The old stone houses are WONDERFUL to see. This one was built in 1712 by Jean Hasbrouck, and it is furnished inside much like it would have been in its day.

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LOVE the wide floor planks! and the table set close to the fire place for warmth ---

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Another drawing room with antique furnishings of the day.

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It was fun to see how they set it up..it even looks like there are ashes on the hearth!

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I really liked the heavy hardware on the split door, and the mustard color of the paint.

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The most amazing thing of all was the LOOM in the attic…this thing was gigantic ---and I can’t imagine all the hours spent weaving coverlets and cloth to provide for the family’s needs.

Susan told me about a photo she had of some residents in the early 1900s posing right out front of the house – and what is fun is that the house has not changed at all – take a look:


If that isn’t enough of a draw into history for you ---the diaries of Julia Lawrence Hasbrouck are being deciphered and presented as a blog, as if her life were unfolding through her journals as blog posts. FASCINATING!

You can get to know Julia through her words HERE. I signed up to have the updates delivered to my email so I wouldn’t miss an update ----be sure you go all the way to the BEGINNING: January 1, 1840 and then read forward to catch up. Be sure you grab a hot cuppa something and plan to spend some time with Julia and what life was like in New Paltz, NY in 1840.

The blog is entitled "From My Pen & Power" and is presented from Julia's diaries by Susan Stessin, the sweet gal who invited me for my special tour.

And with that – I’m off to have the men folk pamper me with a Mother’s Day breakfast --- enjoy your Sunday, everyone!