We got the call before 6 a.m. to get to the vet hospital. We held our sweet baby as she passed and left the suffering behind her.
Thank you to everyone for your prayers and support.
Happy Friendship Friday!
52 days until Spring!
Alice and Sue both shared a lovely photo of their plants:
This is Alice's Christmas Cactus, as she puts it, "it will be in full bloom for Groundhog's Day." She got it from our friend Pam B. before she moved to North Carolina:
Have a safe and happy weekend!
Here's a little backing humor:
Two cities in our valley were founded by Englishmen. Early settlers to our region included English, Irish, Wales, Switzerland, Alsace (sometimes Germany, sometimes France), some areas of Germany, and Bohemia/Czechoslovakia (as in Moravians who founded our valley's city of Bethlehem and moved to Germany to escape religious persecution before coming here).
In the mid-19th century, Pennsylvania Germans learned quilting from their "English" neighbors. I've read that after one generation, weaving was abandoned all together for quilts.
So getting back to those muslin backings....
Another quilt in my collection, similar to the one above also has a muslin backing:
More Tales from the Back-Side...
I'm continuing stories about backing today. I wish I could do more pieced backings myself but my machine quilter prefers one piece of backing and I'm just glad to have her services.
Around 1980 or so, I fell in love with a Postage Stamp quilt that a woman showed me from her collection. About 2 decades later, I found what appeared to be the same quilt at a flea market. I learned it was being sold from the lady who had showed me her quilt and I bought it.
As we chatted, she told me where she bought it (a local farm) and that the woman that had made it had a twin sister.
Here are some interesting articles you might want to peruse!
I wrote extensively about women's suffrage during the Centennial of the 19th Amendment. Without the great state of Tennessee, women would have fought even longer. You can read my post about Tennessee here.
Did you have a good weekend?
Today let's talk about the back of old quilts. At quilt study, the back of the quilt can be as important as the front. In Pennsylvania, what is used as backing can provide us with important clues as to the ethnicity of the maker. For those of you outside our state, you may be wondering why.
The Pennsylvania Germans often used printed calico for their backings. This is in contrast to quilts made in other areas of the country that had plain muslin backings.
Many historians cite that the Pennsylvania Germans were affluent and could afford to use a nice calico instead of muslin on the back of their quilts. Here's an example:
I received two emails last week asking about the status of my hands since the surgery. Thanks for asking!
Recap: Trigger finger in 8 fingers, no longer responding to cortisone shots, first surgery in late November to fix 2 fingers on less dominant (left) hand.
So how's it going? Good days and bad days. Learning to adapt is the best way to put it. Fortunately one of my doctors had the same surgery about 6 weeks before me and we compare notes frequently. There are days (especially cold ones) when we find that both of our hands hurt so bad that we have to check which one had the surgery.
The swelling in the hand with surgery persists and the physical therapist told me that it could be anywhere from 6 months to a year before I might be able to wear my wedding ring again.
I tried binding this past weekend and timed it for it only 15 minutes. The next morning I couldn't use my right hand at all, not even to grasp the coffee pot.
Binding was always one of my favorite parts of quilting---especially in the winter when a nice quilt on your lap helps keep you warm.
But I'm learning to adapt to all the challenges these days. Fortunately most of my quilts this year are going to family members, and many to kids. No one cares if the binding is machine sewn on. Here's a recent finish for my cousin's little boy Brennan:
Other elderly neighbors are helping too. One suggested I get an electric spin scrubber to clean the shower and that has been a godsend to my hands and knees.
My doctor friend and I also talked about how we are going to garden this year. I've been reading reviews of tools for elderly and am interested in "Grandpa's Weeder." The reviews look good but I'm wondering if any of you have used it?
In the meantime, I'm plugging along as well as I can with projects.
Take care of your hands folks!
Have a safe and happy day!