Sunday, June 24, 2007

Mail Call

I mentioned in my last post that while I was internet impaired a few goodies showed up in my mailbox. Since these goodies are quilting related, I thought I would share the postal offerings.

My first squishy package (ok, so this one wasn't technically a squishy -- it came in a box, but hey -- the contents are squishy) was from my Mom. No, this is not one of my quilts. Don't I wish I could do applique like the work in this one as well as the foundation piecing it represents. Nope, this one is a genuine article 1930's feedsack (and probably some dressmaking and other assorted cottons) top. I love the colors in this one -- bits and pieces from all sorts of prints. There are some cheddars, some bright pinks, lots of blues, lavenders -- a true scrap quilt all the way around.

So why did my Mom send it to me? Well, my dad's sister gave it to me sometime in the early 90's -- long before I had begun to quilt myself. The top was pieced by one of my great grandmothers (which one? I have no clue -- my instinct says it was my grandfather's mother, who was a farmer's wife. But it could have been my German immigrant great grandmother as well -- though not as likely. I know -- bad me for not asking when it was given to me. I may have been told, but I now don't remember. Why not just ask my aunt? She has since passed away so -- no one left who could tell me). When my grandmother died in 1990, my aunt found the blocks for this quilt among her things (again, this could still mean it was made by either of my great grandmothers). She put together the blocks and backed the quilt as a summer spread and gave it to me. At the time I was living in the dorms so it ended up at my parents' house.

Why did I ask for it now? Close to 20 years after I'd received it? Well, I appreciate it more now for one. And two, well, this might be something of a rescue mission. My aunt, lovely woman that she was, was not a quilter per se. Crochet -- oh gods yes. Embroidery, some. Some sewing. But not really a quilter. When she put the backing on this quilt -- she used what was economical and convenient. Namely a sheet. In a, and I'm sorry if anyone out there likes this but blech, a gods awful color somewhere between brown/tan and orange with neither of the good qualities of either of those colors (and I must say -- the color doesn't look that bad in the photo -- but you will have to trust me when I tell you that in person, it is so much worse).

Aside from my aesthetic sensibilities being offended by the backing -- there is also the problem of damage. My aunt used a polyester thread to put on the backing (which is simply folded to the front, not bound on and there is no quilting or tying -- really, a summer spread). Which has, oddly enough, not torn through the feedsack cream backing of the blocks, but the cotton/poly blend sheet. Oh, and notice the polyester batting stuffed in the folded over sheet to make the "binding". So, one of my summer projects is going to be a rescue mission. I'm going to remove the binding, add a new backing of some 30's reproductions (possibly pieced, but also possibly just a solid color) and add a "proper" (yes, I know folding the backing to the front is a perfectly acceptable way to finish a quilt -- I've used it myself, but given what has happened here, I think I want something a bit more stable) binding out of some feed sack reproductions. I am not going to quilt it -- I'm really not sure how well it could handle longarm machine quilting and I don't have the skills (yet) to hand quilt it. At which point it will be ready for generations 4 and 5 (myself and my daughter) to use and love.

I'm going to have to apologize here for the length of this post -- but if I'm ever going to get all the stuff I want to say up and get caught up, this one needs to be long. And maybe the next two or three as well.

My next piece of love from the post office came all the way from Australia!!! A while ago, I had asked Tracey over at ozcountryquiltingmum how she made her chooks she sells at school fairs. I thought they would be a cute little toy for my daughter. Generous soul that she is -- she offered to mail me one. I am continually amazed by the generosity of quilters and crafters the world over. So here is a photo of the package that arrived. Not one, but TWO chooks -- one for dd and one for me! (I still have to re-stuff them, but that is on my list for today!), a bit of the lovely satin she was using for pillows, I'm thinking it would make some lovely sachets for my closet, (not in the photo because I couldn't wrest it away from the two year old who says 'my puse') a lovely little bag (actually, it's in this post -- the white bag with the Winnie the Pooh applique) and a piece of chocolate (also not pictured as it went almost immediately into my stomach -- I suppose I could show you a photo of my cellulite, but, um, that's not fair to the small piece of chocolate, I've had to work a long time for a body this bad). Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Tracey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And finally, for now, (I'm betting there are many people who are celebrating the end of this post) I've had a request from Laurie over at The Wooden Spool for some detail shots of my god daughter's jacket as well as some requests for information (Laurie -- you're "no reply" when you comment -- so I have to do these publicly). So, in order of asking -- Yes, I probably will make another one of these. Probably more than one. My daughter LOVES hers, and when she outgrows it, it will be time for the next size up. She still has two sizes in the pattern before she outgrows it, so I foresee more of them. Also, if you just use the pattern with plain fabric (no quilting) it works up quickly and is still cute -- so it's great for using as baby gifts. Yes, this version is mostly Lakehouse fabrics (last year's version of the DayZ line) with one or two additions from my scrap stash. If you find out that Holly Holderman has a flickr group -- would love to submit the photos! Hope these are the kinds of detail shots you wanted!
That's all for today -- need to run to Target and get a few other things done. I might even get to some quilting time! I still have post office goodies to share (like the two above aren't enough?) and some more of my own work. I also have another photo request or two that I need to get to (need to take the photos first though!). Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

15 comments:

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

Hi, that rescue mission is well worth the effort, gorgeous quilt with oodles of history!
So pleased your daughter loves her bag, I like them too (which is probably why I keep making them!) Cheers, tracey

Leigh said...

I love the quilt.
Isn't it just the best thing to receive surprises in th email?

Diana said...

Lucky you to have such a beautiful old quilt. You and your daughter will be able to treasure it for years and years, and, who knows, it might be passed on for another generation or two beyond that! Tying it might be an option. If you use cotton thread it won't damage anything but will stabilize it against the batting and the back.

The jacket is amazing. That little one is going to LOVE it!

kristin L said...

Gorgeous old quilt. I love the strippiness inside the diamonds. Your rescue mission will be well worth the effort.

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

ooh, pretty. glad you're saving the quilt (top).

Tanya said...

Good for you on rescuing that quilt!

I love your jacket too. The bright colors are fantastic!

Suzanne Earley said...

What a wonderful treasure. Make sure you document what you do know about it...

Fiona said...

What a great quilt (and what a hideous backing)you are very lucky to have it.

The Wooden Spool said...

This is sooo gorgeous (jacket) that I will try it one of these days! Thanks for the fun close up details and where to get the pattern, etc....lovely!!! It surely is a bit HIT! Love the details as well. Thanks for sharing! Laurie~

DubiQuilts - Debbi said...

Love the quilt! It is a true family treasure.

YankeeQuilter said...

What a fun rescue mission. Feedsack is very easy to handsew on so is a good project to start your handquilting! Also many of the quilts from this time period don't have the finest hand quilting so that takes some of the pressure off!

Karen said...

Love the antique quilt top...isn't it a bit unusual for the stars to be 7-sided rather than 8-sided? They're very nice.

Felicia said...

What lovely new treasures :)

Anonymous said...

The jacket looks fabulous and I am sure that B will love it!

Helen said...

Cool jacket!