Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Not So Fussy Cutting

Like any interest, I suppose, the more I know about something, the more refined my taste becomes as to what appeals to me.

When I travel, I love finding vintage quilts in flea markets or antique malls. My budget does not allow for the $500 or $600 mint condition treasure, so I look for beautiful things that may have a flaw that makes them within my budget.

On a trip to Ohio a few years ago, I found this quilt top in an antique mall.

I love the bold orange and green combination!

I always had a thought that someday, I would learn how to quilt, practice on 'lesser' projects and finish this top into an heirloom worthy project! I knew that I would have to learn how to deal with scalloped borders first, though!

I decided, after coming across it while sorting, to take a closer look. To admire the vintage fabrics and color combinations.

After looking at it with a more 'schooled' eye, I decided that I will never make a quilt from this top.


After taking a series of classes and reading lots of books and magazines, I have come away with the fundamental rule that quilts should be flat.

This one is not.

Notice the white crosses with the orange squares in the center? Notice how they look like graceful foothills surrounding the round 'plate'? No amount of pressing will render this quilt top flat!

After a futile turn with a steam iron, an alternate plan began to form. I could take it apart and remake it!

As I began to look closely at the individual fabrics, I noticed something odd.

Deer legs!

And some other parts, as well!

There are three blocks made with this fabric, and I am guessing not a bit went to waste. Maybe the original quilter was focused more on the color than the print. I wish we could see a bit more of the faces of the herd, though!

(so cute!)
The entire top is hand pieced and the fabrics are in really nice condition. I think I will wait awhile to decide exactly how to use it. My skills are still very basic, and I want to be sure they are up to the project that would do these fabrics justice!

It is kind of freeing, though, knowing that I don't have to live up to a priceless work of stitching!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Vintage Redwork Stuff

After several weeks of avoiding the Great Chaos Behind The Door, I have begun sorting and packing my studio to go to storage.
These are a few things that I have come across in the process:

An orphan pillow case.

The case feels like a contemporary fabric and it is a bit bigger than vintage ones usually are, so I am guessing this was done in the last 20 years. I don't crochet, so I have no idea if the pattern is as complex as it appears. I think it is lovely, though.

This is a very cute dresser scarf, edged in red cotton, and the design is made by stitching red braid into a graceful vining pattern with pink thread. It is very precisely done!

There is some wear on the corners of the solid fabric, but it doesn't have any of the stains that are so common in vintage dresser scarves. I think the white fabric is linen. Maybe it was used as a table runner, or on the dresser of a very careful person.

This is one of the more intriguing embroidery projects that I have come across. The overall size is about the size of the usable part of a flour sack, after trimming the stitch hole margins. It also has the same fabric slubs that I find in a lot of flour sacks.

The motif is huge, more than life size, as you can see by my model...

I am not sure if it was intended as a dishcloth, or table topper or maybe a cover for a baby carriage. Or maybe it was meant to drape across the foot of a twin bed.

I have always liked red. When we were small, Dearest Sister always went for purple and I went for red. If it was candy, she took grape and I went for cherry.

She finally put her purple luggage from 1973 in the last garage sale. But I still have my red and white teddy bear!

Maybe that explains why redwork sparks such an interest for me!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Catching Up and Stitching Up

This has been one crazy summer! It has been a month since I have posted and only 5 posts since Memorial Day! I am not even sure I can account for my whereabouts, in the last few weeks. If I didn't have an outlook calendar, I am not sure if I could come up with an alibi to save my life!

I have been crazy busy at work. We have added over 100 new positions at our location, and that means that I have interviewed over 300 folks in the last 8 or 9 weeks. Unfortunately, the growth is mostly the result of another location closing, so our delight at being able to offer folks a job is tempered.

But it has kept me busy and has changed our summer travel plans a couple of times.

The Mister went to Washington by himself to visit his middle daughter and her kids. I had planned to go with him, but the timing did not work out, so I kept things humming at home while he was gone.

He wasn't back a week before he headed out again with his brother, to Virginia, for a nephew's wedding. I flew out, just for the weekend, and joined him and had a quick visit with Ms A and K, Dsis's eldest. Our original plan was for me to take two weeks vacation and make a long road trip across country. (That plan was scrapped early on, when the hiring schedule became known.) The upside of The Mister traveling with his brother is a new appreciation (on his part) for traveling with me. And my navigational skills...

Since I flew six hours each way, I did get some good headway on the current quilt block embroidery project:

It is more Rhymeland Mother Goose...
...bluework, this time.
And different motifs than the ones I used for the last bebe quilt.
In the past, Dsis and I have tried to use gender neutral colors for the quilts that we have collaborated on for her grandbebes. We do not yet know the gender of number four, but I decided to do blue work in delft blue with red lettering. If it is a boy, then blue will be fine. If it is a girl, she will have a quilt the color of her mother's eyes!

Hope you are having a good summer!