Saturday, February 11, 2017

Heirloom Quilt

Today was a beautiful Minnesota winter day!  Sunny and almost 40F degrees - crazy warm and melting what snow and ice remains.  I took a little drive and met my folks at my Uncle's house, where my cousins were doing some cleaning out of many years' accumulation.  My sweet aunt passed away last summer, and her sewing room needed to be emptied of fabric and various quilting supplies.  My uncle thinks it's "junk", so I just teased by asking if he was SURE he didn't want to take up sewing?!

Since Mom is a quilter, my cousins offered the fabric stash to her, and I went to help pack it up.  Every cupboard we opened had more fabric - enough to fill both of our vehicles to bursting! This was after my cousins had taken what fabric they wanted, of course, but it didn't appear to make a dent. My aunt sewed everything from lingerie to lined suits to winter outerwear.  And quilts.  

Speaking of quilts, my aunt also had a quilt top that was hand-pieced by her great-grandmother, who would be my great-great grandmother, sometime during her life in the late 1800's.  My aunt then added the batting and backing and hand-quilted it in 1993.  My great-great grandmother was from England, I believe, so it is not clear where the quilt was pieced or exactly when.  But it is very patriotic in red, white and blue, and certainly could have been made during the US Civil War.  Who knows?  But it's fun to wonder and look at.  The fabric seems like a looser weave, and is vibrant in color for being so old.  I wonder if it is patriotic in color as a choice, or if the colors were the most available at that time?  In any case, a very fun thing to see!  Mom will take it to show her quilting friends - what a treasure.  My cousin will eventually hang it in her home, as it fits with her patriotic decor.

I just love seeing heirlooms, and wondering about the people involved.  What was she like?  How did it get here?  With her, or with her daughter?  Was it treasured, or just stuffed away to finish 'someday' like so many of my own projects.  Was it for someone or something special? 

What a treasure, to be sure!




Sunday, February 5, 2017

Twin Cities Tatters Retreat and THREAD!

Well, the Twin Cities Tatters very first (annual??) retreat is booked for the end of July with 8 tatters attending!  Michelle and I are hoping this will become an annual retreat - it will be so fun to spend a couple of days with other tatters and share our common addiction interest.  I am SOOOO looking forward to this!

Mom has some wonderful friends that always think of me when they come across certain fabric and / or thread.  They know I will use it, or make sure it gets into the hands of those that will.  I received a shoebox of thread with a pouch of crochet hooks at Christmastime from one of those friends, and decided to send her some tatting as a thank you.

The box has plenty of white thread - which is wonderful for snowflakes, or to mix with some Lizbeth variegated threads.  I added some variegated thread to make this coaster from the 'New Tatting' book by Tomoko Morimoto.  My intention was to make 2 coasters for the gifter, but it turned out a little small for a coaster in my opinion, so I'll send it as one pretty motif :)  I've also never tried a pattern with bare threads before - they are daunting to me because I'm afraid I will not get them even.  I need practice for sure, because they didn't come out the way I think they should be.  How the heck does one get them right so they are nice and taut? Ergh.

I also used some of the size 80 thread to make this little cross.  Uff da - that is some tiny thread for my eyes to work with!  But this pattern is perfect for the tiny thread - I've made it before, and as a bookmark it practically covers an 5 x 8.5 page with size 20 thread!  The pattern actually calls for size 40 thread - it's Mary Konior's Large Cross from her 'Tatting with Visual Patterns' book.  [Of course I've never tried it with the correct size thread - ha ha!]

And, in other news, I have ANOTHER new grandpuppy!  OMG, puppies are adorable.  But naughty, too!  You certainly forget about those days of chewing-and-biting-and-potty-training.  Those needle-sharp little teeth HURT.  Nelli is an ivory lab, like her big brother Rambo - who isn't particularly thrilled with his pouncing, annoying little sister!

She's pretty snuggly when she's sleepy, though!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Joined the Addicts

Diane did it.  She got me hooked with her Ice Drop Tutorial.  

These are so cute, quick to make, and pretty both front and back. My favorite part is choosing the thread and the matching beads - always the most difficult, but so fun when the result is at least close to what you envisioned!

Size 20 Lizbeth #132, Tropical Punch
I just happened to have some Thanksgiving gems stored away for decor.  Never used them, because I don't really entertain. Or decorate for Thanksgiving.  Not sure why I thought I needed them, but they were probably clearanced?! Ha.  I love [potential] craft supplies a little too much.  Good I had them though, because I may not have made a special trip to get some!

My first attempt was at a gathering with a couple other tatters.  Of course we were talking, and I usually make mistakes while chatting.  No wonder my first try was a little loose - I realized after making a few more I had some extra stitches.  Several.  Oops.

Size 20 Lizbeth #154, Wildflower Garden

I also decided I liked the twisted thread loop hanger over a ribbon.  I have plenty of ribbon, but I think I need smaller so it doesn't overtake the Ice Drop.  I DO NOT need to go buy more ribbon, LOL.

Size 20 Ecru, Size 20 Lizbeth #147, Red Burst

When I decided to try adding some beads, I had to laugh.  A 1-hour project turned into about a 2-hour comedy.  It went something like this:
  • Sit down with the perfect thread at the OTHER loveseat in the living room, as I needed my OTT lite.
  • Ruby rings the bells to go outside.
  • Back to my spot, I remembered I needed a bead threader - which are downstairs in my craft room.
  • Looking through the basket of jewelry making stuff:  "Oh, I forgot I had all these charms.  These pearls would work on something.  Where are those bead threaders?  Holy cow, I have a lot of beads.  Forgot I had this wire.  I remember this!  Aha!  Here are the bead threaders!"
  • Back to my spot upstairs.  Phone rings.
  • Now I need my magnifier glasses.  They are by the OTHER loveseat.  
  • Finally have everything.  45 minutes or so of actual tatting, and it was time to leave for another appointment.
Yes, I am usually much more organized than that!  Good thing I was on vacation last week- it's obvious I was pretty relaxed. And, I probably wouldn't have made any of these cute Ice Drops.  Or become addicted?  Ha!

I'm a better pattern-follower than designer, but I did manage to fit one smaller gem just be decreasing by one ring on both front and back - creating more of a star.

Size 20 Lizbeth, #164, Blue River Glades
Now that I've made a few from the original pattern with only a couple of minor tweaks, I'm ready to branch out and try some of the other beautiful modifications I've seen.  (Though I kinda like this simple little version without getting too crazy fancy anyway.)  And tomorrow it's back to work, so I won't be on a fast-track.  Besides, I'm not too sure what I'll do with these cuties?  I can hang one from every bag I own!  Maybe zipper pulls.  Keychains.  I dunno!  But they are cute.  And addicting!  

Thanks, Diane.  Thanks a lot.  :)