Wednesday, February 20, 2008

And now for something completely different

I thought I might actually post about some crafty/quilty stuff. I know, kind of a stretch for this blog, but hey, it's there in the title. As for when I will stop using cultural (pop or otherwise) references and song lyrics for my post titles? Um, probably not anytime soon.

First though, the obligatory vacation photos. (hey, it wasn't really a vacation, but it's the closest I've come in a long time) This is part of the view from my Mom's back porch. For a flatlander like me, going anywhere there are tall hills (also known as mountains) is kind of cool.

I always forget how beautiful the desert can be when I leave there. It is stunning. And the night skies? Oh my, it really makes you appreciate just how much you miss due to light pollution in other places. Of course, it could also have something to do with the higher elevations. If anyone's curious about the location of these mountains and the desert -- they are in the Mesilla Valley of southern New Mexico. Las Cruces to be precise. If you get the chance -- I can't say enough nice things about the people there (Hi DJ!) and their hospitality. They do need to do something about their speed limits though. I think there was one road I was driving on the entire time that was over 35 mph. UGH. (sorry, I'm way too used to lightly populated areas having much higher speed limits)

Anyway -- I didn't see a whole lot of the area on this trip. I spent a lot of time at Mom's house hanging out and getting her stuff when she needed it. But this is good from a crafting point of view. I had some time to work on a couple of projects (which I'll show later) and, more importantly, I was able to take photos of some of the crafty treasures hanging out at Mom's house. Some are things I made, and some are truly treasures handed down in the family. Yep, some lovely antique quilts!!!!

Today's offering was made by my great-great-grandmother. It's unsigned, but Mom remembers it from her childhood and also remembers helping her great-grandmother by threading quilting needles for her. The quilt is roughly queen sized and is a two color pink and white quilt. The pink is a lovely dotted double pink and the white is plain white muslin. I don't know what the pattern is, but there are feathered triangles surrounding large white hexagons. An approximate date on this one is anywhere from 1880-1890. The date is based on the date of my great-great-grandmother's birth and the date of my great-grandmother's birth as Mom is pretty sure this quilt was made by my great-great-grandmother as part of her trousseau. Location of creation would have been West Virgina.

Each of the plain white hexagons is quilted with a feathered wreath with cross hatching in the center of the circle. I don't know enough to even guess at the number of stitches per inch, but it looks pretty darned good to me. Each of the feathered triangles is quilted about a 1/4 inch in from the seams. I wasn't able to get a good shot of the back (would have involved more work than I care think of to take it off the wall) -- but the back is plain muslin with at least one spot showing some repair.

The borders on this one include a small border of triangles and a larger border of the double pink. Before the border begins there is a cabled quilting design. The final border is quilted with diagonal lines, and a few of those do get a bit wonky in places. I'm not sure if a single person quilted this one or if there was a bee of some sort. Either is possible, which might explain the care in the main circles with the slightly wonky edge treatments. Or, it could just be the edges were harder to work with.

There is no binding on this one. The edges are folded in and finished that way. And just to show you the scale of those triangles, here's a picture with my finger in there. Let me state I do not have big hands (the rest of me, sure, but my wedding ring is a 5 1/2). My assumption is that this one is hand pieced, though I'm not 100% certain on that one. It seems likely though.

I do love this quilt. It really is a masterwork. There are a few damage spots, but for its age it has held up remarkably well. And the damage? Some sun fading on one side (no, not from Mom hanging it up, there is more light in that room for the photos than really ever gets in there) that was there when Mom got it. One spot on one triangle where the fabric looks like it has torn slightly, but otherwise, pretty darned pristine. Mom had the hanging sleeve added to it sometime in the early 80's after it came to her when my great-grandmother died. It's hung in her home since. Someday, it will hang in mine, and I will be glad to know I come from a line of quilters (even if that line was broken a bit before it got to me :0) ).

And just to show that I didn't spend all of my time gazing at the mountains, marveling at the fact that my toes were warm for the first time in months and staring at beautiful antique quilts. Here's a shot of some knitting I did while was on a plane and waiting for Mom to get out of surgery. Another pair of mitts. Or, well, a single mitt anyway. No, Sharon, this one isn't yours -- yours I'm making you wait to see :0). This one is for another exchange I'm working on. And I do hope the recipient likes the colors :0).
And still no freakin' spell check. ARRGGHHHH! Oh well, I have a couple more family quilts to share and the retail therapy excursions, plus more works in progress...but, I need to go dig out my house. Somehow leaving suddenly and leaving my husband and 2 1/2 year old on their own for a few days means my house is even more of a disaster than usual. Time to acutally dig out! (wish me luck, I'm going in...)

26 comments:

upstateLisa said...

Oh Angela, the quilt is gorgeous. Such a treasure! we dont have any family heirlooms like that.
Love the knitting.

Suzanne Earley said...

That quilt is just spectacular.

You had warm toes for a few days? Oh, I'd love to have warm toes. And warm fingers. My fingers go numb at least once a day if not more.

Carolyn said...

Oh my, that quilt is stunning! Someday I want to make a hand quilted quilt like that. Or maybe have someone give one to me, that might be easier!

Libby said...

Oh my - the quilt is positively stunning. How wonderful to have such an heirloom in your family and to actually know it's history.
I do love the desert at night.

Beth said...

That quilt is GORGEOUS! I am usually not a true 2 color quilt fan. I just love too many fabrics to only use two..but THIS! WOW...I may have to try one of these one someday... My part of the desert is cloudy and gonna rain. Where can I find some warm sun???

Bren said...

Your G-G-Grandmother's quilt is incredible!! I am just catching up on my blogs since not having a computer for a couple of weeks! I did think of you during the NIU shootings. My husbands entire family worked their for many years before they all retired several years ago. My boys always got NIU Husky sweatshirts every christmas. Did you see the logo channel 23 put up with the red tear coming out of the Husky's eye? Not sure how I feel about that. Well, I do hope they find out what caused that young man to go crazy.
On the flip side, you 4 season swaps (both sent and recieved) are wonderful!

Greenmare said...

OH I love the mountains too! When I go visit my favorite cousin in Colorado I spend all my time oooohing and aaahhhing over the Rockies............. gorgeous! Speaking of gorgeous, the pink and white quilt is just that!

Cheryl said...

That quilt is just amazing and how lucky to have it in your family. What wonderful memories for your mom and the rest of the family.

Kristin L said...

Gorgeous quilt. Lucky you to have such a nice heirloom in the family.

Chookyblue...... said...

enjoying the scenery and the quilt is amazing.........

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

Oh what a beauty. that quilting is gorgeous. and I especially love those wonky lines in the border! I hope you and your mom wrote this information down and put a label on the quilt.

beautiful scenery as well - I'd love to live out there.

I'm glad you're my blog friend too! (re the next post)

cathicrafts said...

What an amazing quilt! I have a few wrecked ancient quilts from my great grandmother but most were tied simple ones, but still great to have. That one has just amazing quilting!

The Calico Cat said...

Can I tell you how much I love that pink & white quilt...

You should trace the pattern pieces....

Sew Create It - Jane said...

What a beautiful quilt and such an unsual design...and a great keepsake.
As far as I know I'm the first quilter in my family...but I do know I have ancestors that were seamtresses and I have 2 lovely crocheted collars made my my great-grandmother and my great great grandmother...so needlework was strong on that side of the family too. Nice to know when you come by it naturally :o)

Samantha said...

that quilt is an amazing treasure! WOW!

gwen said...

Thank you for sharing that stunning quilt. The pattern looks like a kind of feathered star to me and I love the wonky quilting!
The mitts look gorgeous.
Friends are the best! Take care.

anne bebbington said...

What a pretty, pretty quilt - a real treasure to have in the family

lera said...

What a beautiful quilt!!!

Dawn said...

Oh man, this one is AWESOME! I love it! Almost makes me want to try and make it!

Tanya said...

And here is another beauty! (I read your last post first.) You could start a quilt museum all on your own!

Tazzie said...

Ohhh my goodness, what a stunning quilt! The quilting is simply gorgeous. What a lovely heirloom. Thank you so much for sharing
*hugs*
Tazzie
:-)

Karyn said...

That quilt is absolutely unbelievable. Thanks for sharing!

andsewitis Holly said...

I love two colored quilts and that pink is really pretty. The quilt is gorgeous. How lucky for you to be a future owner!

AJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AJ said...

That quilt is truely beautiful...I'm the first in what will hopefully be a quilting family...so I hope to have something that wonderful to pass on one day!

Nan said...

I definitely agree - that quilt is a masterwork, and a wonderful family heirloom. Something for you to pass on to Miss Tink! It's stories like this that remind me why I decided to create quilts. Not to say I would ever create something so beautiful, but it makes me happy to play a small part of the rich history and legacy that quilting represents.
Your photos of the mountains are lovely - someday I am going to visit New Mexico!