Perhaps you remember this quilt in progress. I am so excited to have had a few days to QUILT (now that is a novel concept LOL). I am still deciding how to quilt it and can't wait to get on that. Amazing with a little quiet time what can be accomplished. Let us see what YOU are working on here - then please raise your hand if you have done so.
My mom gave me this Dutch Doll quilt top (#5) on October 10, 2002, because I am the keeper in the family. Hopefully every family has one; someone who saves the family heirlooms and passes them down to the next generation. I was just starting to quilt so she also knew that I would treasure it as well as preserve it. At the time, mom was the early stages of Alzheimer’s. She was no longer able to quilt on her own but in 2003, I made a Double Irish Chain quilt for my daughter and she helped me hand quilt it. I had to mark lines for her to follow but her stitches were tiny and even; unlike mine. This was the last sewing she was able to do. The Dutch Doll quilt was made by mom’s mother, Ada Martin (Grubb) Scarbrough. Granny was born November 14, 1889 and died the Friday before Easter, April 1960 at the age of 71; I was nine. We aren’t sure what year the quilt top was made but probably in the 1930’s. Feed sacks with colorful prints were first sold around 1925. This is a picture (#1) of my grandmother’s family made between 1895 and 1903. They are beside a house that no longer exists but is the house I was born in. A year or two after my grandmother died, the house was tore down and my parents built a new house. Granny is the young girl on the right in the front row. Her mother Amanda, my g-grandmother, is the second lady from the left in the second row. She has an x on her dress. Granny’s sister Nora is the tall lady in the next row that and has an x above her head. Nora died in 1903 and that is one way we can date the picture. The man to the left behind Nora is my g-grandfather, William Marion Grubb, Jr. I can identify some of the other, but not all and I won’t bore you as this is about the quilt top. But first this is a picture (#4) of Granny, my brother Gary and me on the front porch of that old house. Pictures #2 and #3 are two of my favorite pictures of my grandmother. That’s my grandfather in the boat and you can barely see him in the buggy behind her on the horse. We always called it The Dutch Doll Quilt but the pattern is more commonly known as Sunbonnet Sue. Every summer on a bright sunny day mom would get all the old quilt tops out of an old blanket chest and hang them on the clothes line to ‘air out’. The ‘dolls’ are made from feed sacks and the white blocks are made from Domino Sugar sacks. You can still see some of the printing on the back of some of the blocks. The green fabric is not stable and has some holes and would have to be replaced if I ever decide to quilt the top. There are also some rust spots from being stored inside the blanket chest. As I wrote in an earlier blog, I’m debating what to do with this quilt top. Currently it is spread out on my guest bed along with other quilt top’s that mom never got around to quilting. There are also other quilts that were passed down to her that I discovered in a cedar chest at her house when we had to move mom to a nursing home. This top is such a treasure and I don’t think it is receiving the attention it should. I’m thinking of taking the top apart and quilting eight of the blocks individually and framing them to hang as art in my living room. I would keep six, give one to my daughter, and one to my niece, along with the history of the blocks. I think they are both going to be keepers. The remaining 12 blocks I would use to make a small quilt to be passed along to my daughter. Thanks for reading.
I am a member of the Merrimack Valley Quilters from Massachusetts. Since the Fall of 2001 I have been organizing quilting weekends at Bay View Villa, in Saco, ME for the members of my guild. The Villa is a convent and retreat house run by the Good Shepard Sisters. Recently we had our last weekend at Bay View. The Good Shepard Sisters are closing this facility due to the small number of Sisters still living there. We have been to Bay View twice a year since we began and this was our fifteen visit. Over the years we have made friends with many of these wonderful individuals. Last year we decided to get a list of all the Sister's names and we all picked a Sister or Staff member and made a lap size quilt for each. On our last Saturday afternoon at 1 o'clock we had a tea for the Sisters and presented each with their gift quilt. When someone said, "Go ahead you can open your gifts now." they were like little children on Christmas morning. The happiness of these women turned what could have been a sad weekend into one of great joy and happiness for all of us. We truly got more back than we could have ever given to them. It was such a joyous event and filled with love and gratitude. It is wonderful how quilts say so much about love and our caring feelings. I would love to share our photos of this event with you. The happiness can be felt in these pictures and all of you deserve to see for yourself how quilts speak to people. After we gave the Sisters the quilts they asked us to their Community Room to see all of the quilts spread out on the chairs. It was a beautiful quilt show for us all. We were so busy watching our own Sister that we didn't get to see the other quilts well and this gave us the opportunity for everyone to see each others quilts. By the way, the over 700 pastries for this tea were all made by Phyllis Robart, an octogenarian and guild member, who comes to all of our weekend retreats. She did a fabulous job and her hard work is greatly appreciated by all. Kathy Pearse
When we read in my husband's home town paper about a father giving his young daughter a kidney, we decided to send quilts. The family lives on a ranch in Sout East Montana. As we were approaching the 5 year anniversary of a kidney transplant from myself to my husband, this was something we could relate to. For the Dad, I found a cheater pannel with running horses in rich browns and golds. I set out with no real plan, just deciding to let the quilt be what it wanted to be. I was thinking a lap quilt, for covering up on winter evenings, not that a Montana rancher has much time to sit! The quilt grew larger, like the big sky of Montana, 96 x 114. It was as hard to rein in as the wild horses on the fabrics. I had to wrangle bias edges, partial seams, Y seams, fussy cuts, lines that did not line up, and areas that would not lay flat. There were cutting errors to correct with splicing. I began to wonder if it would get made at all. I was even tempted to just add 'slab O border'. I could not let this become a UFO. Finally it all came together. Some fabrics were sent to me by whisperingpines (thanks, Tille!). Her fabrics fit with mine wonderfully. When I saw her Lone Star quilts and her screen name, I knew she had to be from Montana. It turns out we lived not far from each other when I lived in Montana. Coincidentally our husbands had known each other for years at work, but it took The Quilt Show for us to meet. The first problem was to make the horizontal pannel into a vertical quilt. Placing a square braid on point behind the pannel gave extra height. Letting the braid spill onto the border at the sides gave the quilt more length. I wanted the braid to point to the outer edges on all sides, which meant changing direction. This left space for fussy cuts. The quilt was assembled in a flip and sew method, both front and back. I wanted to quilt freely around the stuffed horses, so I could not use my frame. After quilting the pannel, I added fussy cut triangles and the first row of braid to the top, a slab of batting, and a triangle to the back. I left a few inches unquilted all around so the next sections could be added. I continued this way untill compleete. With this meathod I was able to quilt the center without having the bulk to deal with. Just as some parts did not want to work out, others just fell into place. Blocks that did not work in the braid fit into the border. For the daughter's Bento Box quilt, I wanted it to be bright and colorfull. I gathered prints from my stash, and purchased more, (building more stash!). I lost count how many. For the backing I chose fabric with rows of tiny sheep each with a different colorful print on their fleece coats. This fits well, as the family raises sheep on the ranch. I made 2 halves, quilted on a Flynn frame, then joined them. A very fun quilt!
When we returned from Quilt Market we showed you in the Daily Blog a sneak peak from Alex's new line of fabrics, "Whisperings". It was originally set to be shipped to stores in February. But many of you wrote to us at TQS and said "WOW! I love these fabrics. Can't wait to get them" and "I wish your fabrics would be available in time to do the 2009 BOM".
We took your comments straight to P&B Textiles, and they heard your wishes! P&B will start shipping "Whisperings" in December. Now, not everyone who placed an order at Market will receive it right away. But hopefully enough will receive it so that you can add it to your BOM! So start looking and asking for "Whisperings" in December and January!
Be sure to click here to thank Julie at P&B Textiles, for not only getting you the fabric faster, but also for being a Site Sponsor of TQS. Thanks Julie!