Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sewing Room Cleaning/Organizing/Surprises

I can now "walk into" one of my walk-in closets!  Did a major purging of old clothes (and found some new ones too!) because there was no longer space on the clothes rod and things were piling up on the floor!  Not only clothes, but fabric, books, papers, etc.  Feels so good to see it neat again!  OOOoops....looks like some fabric is still piled on the floor!  Oh well!  This closet is where a lot of the "how-to" books and older Brackman/Thompson and Smithsonian fabrics live.  My fabrics are mostly stored by collection except for the first shelves I had built (that I thought would be adequate for a while but they weren't!) where they started out being organized by color.  Collections moved in soon after.......Most of the Time I can find what fabric I am looking for............I am amazed that when this room (oldest child bedroom that was used by 6 kids in succession!) was remodeled from an old attic that two walk-in closets were created.  One is at the top of the back stairs and it needs organizing but not today......or the foreseeable future!

Some of the Surprises I found while cleaning.....rabbit dolls that I made for a local craft show some friends and I did here in town from 1988 until 2001.  Did not remember that I had any left!  Might be good gifts sometime!
And I enjoyed making/dressing cloth dolls!
Made this little log cabin in the early 1990's and one of the surprises I found was a huge box of 1" strips I used for it.........they were hidden by the dolls.........oh wait...there were some Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls.....must have forgotten to photo them......loved those dolls!  Made one for each grandchild as well as to sell at our show. 
More little Railfence making these as Leaders/Enders!

Have been working on little Railfence and log cabin blocks lately when I just feel like sewing!  Most of my scrap strips start out at 6-61/2" and will have a couple inches left over after working on the 3" Railfence blocks......they go into one of these little boxes to be used as the second strip on the 3" log cabins.   Have lots of the boxes and it's a good thing I started saving them when I did.......the flimsy little boxes that you have to assembly yourself now are worthless!  Isn't it awful how as soon as you find something you like, and can use/reuse, it is changed....and not usually for the better!  

Found a box marked "Auction Goods".......from probably 20 years ago.....guess I did not go all through it back then as I found things I did not remember ever of which is this mail in a brown paper wrapper..........
It turned out to be a catalog from the 1940', furnishings, quilts.....will add to my very small collection of old pattern catalogs.  Love the dresses!  Which I hardly ever wear nowadays!
From the back cover, it seems appliqued "Tree of Life" quilts were popular then!
Found this Amish "cheater" panel to make small quilts.  Also collect "cheater" fabrics, both old and new.  Too many things interest me!!

This little strip of an old quilt I have no recollection of......sure wish I had the Whole Quilt!  Those are pretty early fabrics!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Finally Found It! And a 1790-1810 Quilt!

For weeks I have been looking for the quilt top that I took these blocks from.  You know how it is when you can't find's all you can think about!!  It is a top that evidently was used as there are threads along the edges where a backing was removed.  Can't find any holes indicating ties though.  I guess it's from the late 1800's.  I removed these 2 blocks and triangles last year but got a bit discouraged as the quiltmaker, while her stitching was not very close, backstitched every few stitches......making it tedious to remove!  Thought I might make something small from some of the blocks.  There are a few fabrics missing that I thought someone must have removed, but upon closer inspection, found that the fabric was brown and has rotted away leaving only the seam allowance.  Have no recollection of where I got it!  Keeping good records is a serious downfall of mine!  Like I said, I could not find it and was on a search after finding the little blocks in a stack of books.....where else would I put them for safekeeping?  As for the top, in a fit of neatness, I had put it along with others neatly in a box in the shop attic.  I Looked In That Box last week and did not find I dug deeper and found it on the very bottom!

 This quilt is a real treasure.....belongs to Kathie L (owner of a quilt previously blogged and anonymous winner of my last scrap box.)  That reminds me..... box #4 is nearly full and I will give it away......stay tuned.  

This wholecloth Pillar quilt dates from 1790-1810 (date is from the appraisal form) and is from here in Maine.  Edges are quite worn from being much used but for about 200 years old, it's not bad!!!  Quilting is in concentric diamonds.  The background is what I would call robin's egg blue but it might have a technical name that I do not know.  Looks more green in the photos....from the flash I suppose. CORRECTION!  When time elapses between taking photos and viewing photos, Memory does not always work right!  Upon looking at the quilt again, it IS green and the pencilling on the leaves is Blue!    
Close up of the Pillar.

The repeat is 12 inches.

Here's the long-tailed Bird!  Sorry about the flash.....will try to do better later!
This is the back (imho as I would consider the Pillar the front)....a nice chintz.  Quilt might never have been washed as it still has glaze.
Chintz closeup.

Found the original 1830-1850 fabric for my reproduction quilt!
The light floral fabric is the alternating block for a Sawtooth Star I made several years ago.  Last month while going through some books at Quilt Study Day, I found the original!  The quilt is in the James collection now at IQSC in Nebraska.
This is the original.....didn't In the Beginning Fabrics do a wonderful job of reproducing it!!
My quilt using the Floral Bouquets and Fancies line by In the Beginning in 2000.
Back later with some Suprising Finds in my Sewing Room cleanout!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Finding Stuff...Hexagon Progress....Basketmaking

Have been doing some sewing room purging and re-organizing lately....found some amazing things.......some I didn't even remember owning!
Found this fabric-covered Sewing Box that I made many years ago......I think the pattern was in an old Chitra magazine (either Quilting Today or Traditional Quilts) about 20 years ago.  I was truly surprised when I opened it to take a photo.....There are two more hexagonal boxes nested inside!  Completely forgot about those!

Here is what is seen when the box is opened.......a cute small box
that opens to this....... revealing the smallest box!
Must have spent quite a bit of time making this and never used it!  Can only use so many sewing boxes!  And I don't have enough sewing tools to fill it up!  I remember the old VIP large print fabric that I used.....

Have my first two rows of my Hexagon quilt stitched together.....can't believe how much Faster this is compared to my slow stitching on my Applecore with its curved seams!

When I began experimenting with which way to press the seams, I had a pleasant little surprise!   Little "Tumbling Blocks" appeared at the seam intersections!  Probably lots of folks have already discovered this......makes such a nice smooth finish for the top of the quilt.....hardly any bulk!

Made this little quilt top recently (started with 5" squares) to showcase the red/brown colorway of Jo Morton's "Savannah" line.  That border fabric is luscious!
This little log cabin table runner was made in the mid-90's from a pattern by Jo Morton.  In another life, I was a Basketmaker .......loved it.....made over 1000 baskets but haven't made any in a few years because of arthritis.  Also made dolls!  The little 3" Topsy-Turvy doll is a pattern by Gail Wilson of nearby New Hampshire.  The basket she is sitting in was made in a workshop with Martha Weatherbee in 1988, also in New Hampshire.......a miniature Shaker basket with 1/16" black ash.  The miniature Backpack was made of chair caning for a Christmas tree ornament.

Two kittens have been added to the menagerie around this place.  They are so active and 12 yo Maine coon cat really has her nose out of joint over them!  



This log cabin quilt (guess by now you know how much I love log cabins!) hangs in the quilt shop that old fall leaves fabric from Hoffman!

Will have some more old fabrics to study next time!!