Tuesday, May 15, 2012
We flew in to a beautiful view of the coastline.
And how lucky is this?? My bags were the first to be delivered at baggage claim!
Just waiting for Pam to pick me up---everything made it for my lecture tonight! Yay!
I could have spent my whole time on Huguenot Street with just this ONE quilt. It was that amazing ---
Like many gift quilts of the era, blocks were gathered to honor a Minister who served more than one local church building.
Ministers would often travel from place to place to deliver their sermons and serve their congregations. This congregation was from a Methodist church in Ramsey, NJ. The date is approximately 1850 – but I’m waiting for Susan to get back to me on that for sure ---
The women who made this quilt as a remembrance gift for their beloved minister excelled in fine needlework.
Each block is more stunning than the next with detail so miniscule and whimsical, it was all I could do to keep my squeals of delight under my breath --- but let me tell you, behind my dazed eyed stupor with my mouth hanging open --- I was jumping up and down loudly inside my head!
I wish this quilt had been hanging so I could have photographed it flat out, instead of draped on an exam table ---and I tried to get as many block section photos as possible – and I am hoping I didn’t miss anything!
The quilt is filled with all things flora and fauna from trees to flowers to birds to foxes and even dogs and deer ---and don’t forget the fish! You can spend forever just examining each and every block.
Just a glimpse from the side ---LOVED the solids used in this quilt! Doesn’t it make you want to get CLOSER?!
The blocks turn in toward the center from side to side.
Love the drooping tulips with the C A initials!
Do you see how small that bird is between the dogs?
Does my finger give you an idea? Caroline Murray did quilt the embroidery!
Some more initials – L. C. S. and a very cute corner pear block with appliqued hearts. Most of the fabrics were solids, but there are a few prints --- fun ones!
This block was REALLY interesting! Someone fussy-cut out a bunch of paisleys from the print, and appliqued them down broderie-perse style! What a fun bird on the tree in the block to the left of the paisleys.
S. A. V? or V. A. S.? I adore heart motifs in antique quilts…how do you like them cheery cherries in the next-door block? Do you think these ladies were having a contest on who could do the BEST block?These are all so out of the ordinary!
Here’s another section…I see M D with the D being backwards….and I love the block with the big red swirling daisy and the Christmas cactus pots in the corners!
I kept walking around the table hoping not to miss anything. There is a tree heavy laden with pears ---next to pineapples. Do you see the woven basket on the left of the photo? 2 colors of fabric in that basket, wonderful work!
Here’s another basket --- we laughed….it looks like it’s filled with chicken drumsticks or pork chops --- Church Pot-lucks, you know? ;c)
A deflated balloon plant ;c) With hearts!
((Hey, it’s cheddar, it’s all good by me!))
Some blocks had pen & ink signatures, some had embroidery – and some – like this one, had miniscule cross stitch!
And some --- had even TINIER birds in the most wonderful delicate satin stitch embroidery. He even has something in his beak!
What makes me smile is the scale of this bird to the stem that it is perched on….SO folksy!
Around and around the quilt I went, afraid to miss some detail! Miss Ann Fox put a bird on her apple tree --- what about the size of them apples?! The whole interpretation is just wonderful. Check out the bird on the top berry on the block next to it….see him up there?
Here’s another block with Christmas cactus in the corners ---and if you look catty-corner from it – another Christmas cactus variation adorns the corner of the block on the farthest bottom left. The pots are all slightly different too.
At one point in time, these flowers were artfully pleated and tacked, so the petals looked 3D. Over time, they’ve lost their folds, but the stitches remain as white tacking stitches within the red flowers.
This oak leaf and reel looked almost out of place amongst its contemporaries. The fabrics are all prints, and the whole block is less detailed than the others. Another bird just perching on the block next door!
Roses and hearts and a pineapple…and a very small fish!
There were several pineapple blocks in a row on this quilt….again, that’s the difference between “now” and “then”. We try very hard to NOT have like-kinds together ----and in antique quilts, blocks with things in common, be they fabric, color, or items, are often grouped together ---
I loved this rose block with the cheddar star in the center. Wonderful!
A pair of regal stags keeps watch over a pot of roses…hoping to not get hit by falling urns ;c)
((Okay, I’m getting too silly over here ---I just LOVE this quilt!))
I love tulips in all their variations ---so classic!
Two more pineapple blocks….the sign of hospitality.
I could have studied this quilt for hours more. Do you see the crescent moon at the upper left? It was just the most wonderful quilt, and I wish I knew more about the women who made it.
Will any of our quilts be treasured such as this one? I can only hope that someday someone in the future is poking fun at my use of scraps and weird fabric combinations ---and if I make them LAUGH --- then that is my gift to them, because it lightens burdens and lifts the spirit.
As this posts, I’m winging my way toward Chicago! I’ll be meeting with the Village Quilters in Lake Bluff, IL, and then onto the Pride of the Prairie Quilters in Plainfield, IL ---I hope to see you there!
Monday, May 14, 2012
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?
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.
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.
There was a very small pile of purple ---
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.
Yellows and golds and browns….
Lovely greens --- do you recognize any of these?
Just a few printed blacks, and a handful of oranges ---
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?
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!))
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.
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.
Sweet neutrals & lights – I can ALWAYS use these – they are one thing that is always leaving my stash – and I love lots of variety.
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!
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!
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!
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 ---
Holy Black Trash Bags, Batman!
I dumped it out to find out what exactly was inside ----Wheeeeee!!!
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?