Wednesday, February 27, 2013

1920's embroidered quilts...

I only have a few embroidered quilts.  

This one has a woman in a large hat on one block and lilly pad on the other.  I find it interesting to see that the embroidery was done through the thin batting and the backing so it is part of the quilting.

I have a small doll quilt from the same time period that uses this technique as well.
I like how she squeezed the I and J into one blck and shrunk the Q into a little block so the alphabet would fit in the 9-patches!

I have used this quilt as inspiration for a couple of doll and baby quilts.  

The embroidery floss was easier to "quilt:" with than I expected

 however the stitches are a bit larger and my hand does tire quicker than when using quilting thread.  Also I wish I had used a darker shade of thread on this piece.  There is less thread on the fabric using this stitch this light blue just doesn't hold its own...lesson learned!

Things are a bit crazy here at the house...Macbeth isn't doing well.  Having problems going up and down stairs.  Brownie is failing as well.  Tough to have older pets.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Back-up in the binding aisle...

One more side of binding and I will have a finish for this year!  And more importantly it is actually one from my list!!!  Double whoop-whoop!

I two others in the binding que...debating if I should wait until I get my machine with the walking foot fixed first.  The needle will not move to the center.  I had to cut my bias binding a bit wider for the current quilt to make up for the extra 1/16 of an inch the needle is off.  It may not sound like much but when you consider the binding is folded in half that means and extra 1/8 of an inch!

And it isn't as if I don't have other machines that I can use!  Just getting lazy like the Goldie here...

Who thinks her job is to guard the quilts by napping on them...

Back to the binding issues...for one of these I planned ahead and made the binding when I finished the quilt top.  So organized you say?  In theory perhaps.  I put the binding away somewhere safe so I wouldn't use it on another quilt...'nuff said?  I think I'll bite the bullet and make more black binding...not like I'll never need it again!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Carol Taylor Workshop

This weekend the guild I belong to is hosting Carol Taylor for two workshops and a lecture!
                                                     Carol Taylor's Class Samples....
I signed up for the lecture tomorrow and the Sensuous lines and curves class on Monday but stopped by the class today to pick up a quilt and to drop off some supplies that folks forgot!

It is fun to see the different colorways that the quilters chose.

 Even though they are using the same pattern they finished wallhangings will all be very different!

I need to spend some time in the sewing studio packing up for the workshop on Monday!  Folks in today's class really seem to be enjoying themselves!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Back home...

To celebrate my husband's retirement we went on a cruise...not the terrible one that is still out at sea but a Carnival Cruise to the Bahamas.  (All I can say is fate was with us on this one as we very nearly went on the ill-fated one!  We have been to the Bahamas many times and I wanted something different but my DH didn't want to fly and since it was "his" cruise...phew!)

It was nice and relaxing.  We did take a day trip on a tall ship, the Alexander von Humboldt, in Freeport.  I really enjoyed it.  Watching how much work it takes to put the sails up was amazing.   We were out on the water for about 2 hours and only got a fraction of the sails up.  The crew are some of the nicest folks you would ever want to meet.

I think my husband has read every Dewey Lambdin novel (The Navel Adventures of Alan Lewrie) as well as all of the Master and Commander series.  So seeing all those sails and ropes up close was good for him.

 I was surprised just how tight the quarters were...yikes!  Nowhere for all my quilting stuff so I guess a life at sea is off my list!

On another note:  Happy Valentines Day!  Cannot believe my Dh was organized enough to order flowers before we left...they delivered them as we were unpacking the car!  Now that is timing!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A charmed life

Most of my vintage and antique quilts are only for display or used for lectures.  There is one however that is used almost daily.

Last summer my husband was very ill.  During two months he lost almost 50 pounds (and since he is 5 foot 5 inches tall that is a lot of weight.)  Anyway, since losing the weight he gets cold easily.  Our gas fireplace is on almost every night and this red and beige (originally green!)  quilt circa 1900 is his favorite to wrap himself up in.  It is soft, big, and warm without being bulky...

Well a couple weeks ago I was sewing in my studio.  I heard my DH outside the door (kept shut to keep the pets out...not enough space for all of them and the fabric too!)  Anyway, he left then came back bout 20 minutes later.  "I have a confession...don't get angry."  Oh, dear.  "I spilled diet cherry Dr. Pepper."  Now back-story  it took me two weeks to the last red DCDP stain out of the carpet in the living-room   As I started to walk past him he put his arm out to blocks me.  "I took care of it, but that is my second confession." he said. Now I am picturing a huge bleach stain in the middle of the room...or maybe he bleached the dog?  Who wants to walk a polka dotted Scottish Terrier?!

As all of these horrible things go flying through my brain he says "I put the quilt in the washing machine."  Quilt? What quilt?  Then it hit me.  "You don't mean the red and white (deep breath) know I wash antique quilts in the bathtub...(deep breath)"   I walk quickly to the laundry room.  There is nothing in the washer!  This is all a joke right?

Nope...not only did he wash it in the machine but he popped it into the dryer (the second of the deadly sins...)  I gently took the almost dry quilt out of the dryer and laid it out on the is fine.  He, and this quilt, live charmed lives.

All I can say is "do not try this at home...."

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Bonnie Visit...

My friend Bonnie came by yesterday and helped me with my old Singers.  We got two of the three working well...I have a list of things to get to make them work better.

I am really impressed with how nice the stitches are on this 99K with the hand crank!  It will be fun to use if I can keep Brownie away!  (she seems rather attached to Helen the 99K)

After dinner we looked at some quilts.  (my poor DH lost his chair for watching the news!)

It is fun to see the same or similar patterns done with different fabrics.

What a difference a few decades can make!  These log cabins both have the half-square triangle in the center  and have similar construction but were made about 100 years apart!

Today we went to the quilting bee with the guild were Bonnie and I met.  The gals were glad to see her.  As I worked on the donation quilt I could hear lots of quilt talk across the room...all fun!

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

February 2012
February 2009
February 2010

February 2011

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Old Singer Machines and a kitten

This week a friend is coming by to help me with a couple of antique and vintage sewing machines.  I thought it would be a good idea to dust them off before she arrives.  Two of thee hadn't been unpacked since we moved back from the UK 4 years ago!  (these are in addition to my two featherweights but those are used all the time!)

The one above is part of a treadle.  I don't have the table.  Not sure if it is worth keeping or using it for parts.  It was made in 1910.  The decals are nice though the ones on the bed are worn.  This machine was a workhorse.

This one is and hand crank 99K and was make in 1921.  It came with a manual that includes how to put a motor on it.  It has it's original wooden case with lock and key!  (When I put this on the kitchen table to inspect it my husband said, "aren't you taking this Downton Abbey thing just a bit too far.....)

The last is also a 99K but this one has been motorized (though the manual that is has is for a hand-crank!)  Between the two manuals I should be able to sort them out!

 It was made in Clydebank, Scotland in 1955.  It is wired for the UK...wondering if I should get a transformer and run it that way or get it rewired?  If I remember correctly it ran ok....This has a case that looks a bit like an old suitcase.  It is also made of wood and has a lock and key!

So it will be fun to tinker with these this week...I'd like to get the hand-crank one working!  (which may only mean oiled and threaded as it seems to turn fine!)

BTW...have a visitor in today.  Heard a cat-howl outside the door and the two bully cats from up the street had little Rapunzel, my neighbor's kitten, cornered.  I ran them (the cats...not my neighbors) off then brought her inside for some treats and a nap...

Monday, February 04, 2013

Surprise quilt...

Almost every guild meeting someone brings a vintage or antique quilt for me to look at.

This month the owner asked if I would look at a quilt her grandmother made...or maybe her great-grandmother....

I was expecting a 1920's or 30's quilt.  Well, take about 75 years off of that!  (So maybe her great-great-grandmother?)  The handwriting is same in each block but the names are different.  She believes it to be the names of children in a second grade class.  She knows she comes from a long line of school teachers.  The quilt comes from upper state New York. 

There are some beautiful fabrics in this quilt.  The quilting is well done and similar to applique quilts I've seen circa 1850...random shapes and some swirl designs.

The binding is back to front and sewn down with a sewing machine.  (If you had one it was worth showing off!)  Interestingly the machine stitches are larger than the hand quilting stitches...