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!