Saturday, January 30, 2016

Care quilts

I've been a caregiver most of my adult life.  It's a tough job that most people don't understand unless they've done it.  This year I would like to give some quilts to those who are in that same position.  This one I made for Carol, my neighbor and friend who takes care of her elderly Dad and special needs brother. She always said this one looked like sunshine to her and after 31+ inches of snow this past weekend, I figured I should finish it and give it to her (because we all NEED sunshine at this point).

The other quilt I gifted was for my friend Diana who is one of the most kindest and caring people I know.  She worked taking care of others until she had to have back surgery.  Like most of the people in her family, she is struggling with Muscular Dystrophy.  A few months ago, I put together what I call a "good to the last drop" quilt using up pieces left over from other quilts.  Diana said she loved it so she received it a few weeks ago.

I'm back to the sewing machine now and putting together some quilts for donation and upcoming programs.  I hope you are having a better winter than ours right now!  Happy Sewing!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Snowmaggedon, 2015

It's snowing in Pennsylvania and pretty much the eastern part of the United States.   It's a good day to sew (when we are not shoveling) and a good day to celebrate a quilt I purchased a while back.  It is a kit quilt and I have a 1949/1950 McCall's Needlework magazine with an ad about this quilt:
I was grateful to find my quilt with a background color of grey. It seems more suitable for winter and I like the soothing color. The quilt features a variety of snowflake applique patterns:

I hope you are all staying safe during the storm and getting in some therapeutic sewing!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

January Pawsday

The pups last summer.
Today seems like a perfect day for a Pawsday since we have 8 paws in our household instead of the usual 4.  Greta is my mother's poodle and is the white one in the foreground.  Behind her rests my poodle, Seamus.  
Greta is staying with us because she is ill and too much for my elderly mother right now.  She has a dermatitis on her paw and today's post is dedicated to her.

This is a coverlet gifted to me by cousin Daveen.  

I love this coverlet and enjoy the individual pups that are appliqued and embroidered.  This one appears to be holding up her paw, not unlike Greta these days:

According to Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Applique, the pattern originated from Wheeler Brooks (#1846).  I hope you are having a wonderful Saturday and give your pets an extra pet from me!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

First Snow Day/Sew Day

This morning feels like what my father used to call "the warm before the storm."  We are expecting the first snowfall of the season.  When I worked at our local college, I dreaded any kind of inclement weather, especially snow.  I just don't like driving in bad weather. 

Now I love snow days.  It is probably my favorite time to sew. There is a calm and a peace that descends with the flakes. I wipe the regular tasks off the calendar and spend the snow day as a sew day.  I'll be doing some embroidering today, binding a quilt, and maybe even work on a new quilt.  

If you are looking for a small project today, here is an embroidery transfer from the 1920s that you can sew.  As a child I loved ice skating in our backyard.  Although I could spend hours on the ice, my makeshift rink was uneven and I often ended up this way:

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Weekend Read

Charles Seaton of Alletown, 1928, Aged 4
Photo Courtesy of Carol Seaton-Zawediuk

It's another grey weekend here in the Lehigh Valley so I am spending some time reading.  My book of preference this weekend is:  A Passion for Quilts, The Story of Florence Peto 1881-1970.  The book is available through The Heritage Quilt Project of New Jersey here.
Florence Peto is my favorite quilt historian.  When I became interested in quilt history, I did what I always do:  raided the local library for books and information.  The Allentown Public Library had a copy of Historic Quilts by Florence Peto and it became my favorite book to read.  I checked it out numerous times and eventually bought my own copy.
I loved this book and eventually picked up her other book (more readily available these days) called American Quilts and Coverlets.
A Passion for Quilts is relays the story of how Peto became a pioneer in quilt history at a time when most books about quilts had a more romantic perspective.  She was a quilter, collector and researcher of antique quilts.  We (the quilting community) owe her an incredible debt for recognizing and promoting the preservation of our craft.
In 1980, Peto was inducted into the Quilters' Hall of Fame (see here).   I highly recommend the book A Passion for Quilts and encourage anyone who has an interest in quilt history to explore her books, research, and quilts.  

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

UFO Challenge

This stern little lady from our family photographs is the perfect poster child for my personal challenge this year: complete the ufos (unfinished objects) in my sewing room.

I dislike the frustration of unfinished projects and just want them completed and sent to the intended recipients.  Maybe you feel this way too.
If so, you may want to visit the all people quilt website.  There is a great list and system they are promoting to complete projects through the next year.  Go here for more information and details.
Winter in Pennsylvania (and most other places) is a great time to get things accomplished!  

Monday, January 4, 2016

McKim Monday: Quaddy Quiltie January

Ruby Short McKim (1891-1976) was one of the leading quilt designers in the 20th century.  For the next year, I will blog features about her and her quilt designs on the first Monday of the month.  You can read about her life at the McKim family website, run by her youngest granddaughter, Merrily McKim Tuohey here.

I like McKim because of the range of her designs.  I've always been attracted to the embroidered quilt designs she created;  I loved and still love the thematic nature of her patterns.   Most impressive though is the variety of patterns she created.  She was truly an innovator.  

2016 is special because it is the centennial of the first quilt pattern she published.  This pattern is credited as being the first syndicated quilt pattern in a newspaper and initiated a trend that would become popular throughout the first half of the 20th century.

The "Quaddy Quiltie" was published in installments in the Kansas City Star in 1916.  The patterns were based on the works of the writer, Thornton Burgess.  His Quaddys (short for quadrupeds), featured the stories of a variety of animals.  He had two illustrators that I know of who drew the Quaddys:
From Mother West Wind's Children, illustrated by George Kerr, copyright 1911

Illustrated by Harrison Cody, no copyrighted listed.

Although versions of the Quaddys come up at auction quite regularly, I chose to purchase this top because of the lines that are written under the characters.
Quilt top, maker unknown
I have often surmised that children could embroider the blocks with some ease because of the squared lines of the figures. 

I hope you will enjoy McKim Mondays and explore the world of Ruby Short McKim with me during the next year.  Please also visit the McKim website and if you are on facebook, you can join the Centennial celebration there as well!