Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Antique Quilt Find!

Horrible, stressful, dreadful day at work. A 4pm phone call put me over the edge, and I left (with a huge headache) before I could start to take hostages - just awful. What you need at those times is Retail Therapy and Fabric - oh yea, same thing, huh? Hee hee -- but this time I wandered into an antique store. There's not many in this county, and they're not full of great finds, but I was thinking about a couple of bone china teacups/saucers for my collection. Instead, I found this:

Oh my my, it is luscious! Clearly old, in mint condition, very well made. The lavendar and peach are classic 30's colors, as is the brilliant daffodil yellow on the back. A LOT of different fabrics, a lot of feedsacks. (The colors in the pictures were pretty accurate when it left my Picasa program, don't know how they'll publish. Click on them for a better look!)
I spread it out over an old sofa and checked it out, then folded it up and put it under my arm, tightly. I was half afraid someone would snatch it away, or say "Ooops - that's not the right price on that!" but I was the lone only customer. I've never felt so much like a thief. What a prize, to me anyway. I would have paid twice the price. It's about twin sized, hand pieced, (very nicely, too) and hand quilted. The quilting is not teeny tiny stitches, but it's straight and even, and there's a lot of it. The batting is that dense rather heavy sort you sometimes see in old quilts. Heavy and flat.
It's is perfect condition - no frays, no fading or staining, no repairs. If it had heavy fold lines I'd think it's been folded in a cedar chest for 60 years, but not even fold lines. It has a funny little row of individual fan squares along one side, not enough to make the bigger blocks for a whole row, but too dear not to use. I like that alot - no orphan blocks in this lady's bag! For all it's wonderful attributes, what really got to me was the size of the fan blocks -- 3 1/2 inches. Every last one of them! A lot of old quilts I've seen aren't too particular about how things fit or lay, but these are all just so, and the whole is nice and square.
I may even take it to work tomorrow, and when things get nasty again, I'll wrap up in it while I talk things over with the Divisional Vice Prez. Yeah, that's what I'll do!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Frog Prince

Any froggers out there? I'm one kind of by default. It all started with one plaster frog my daughter gave me years ago, and I'm not sure when it got out of control. Now it's an easy gift opportunity - which is great! I wish more people had well-defined areas of interest to make gift giving easier. In this case, it's resulted in hundreds of frogs. My office is crammed with every conceivable frog ever made! Patients bring them in all the time. Someone tried to count one time, and gave up at 180-something. Many are put away in boxes with the thought that someday I'll rotate the displays. (sure I will)
A couple of years ago I made this wall hanging for my office and I still love it. It sure gets the comments! It's covering up a lame landscape print that I looked at for 6 years before I had to get rid of it or scream. I had a blast making it, and it was the first quilt made in our new house, and one of my first ribbon winners ever - third, I think. My granddaughter has designs on it, and I may have to make one for her before she gets big enough to knock me over and take it. She showed a love of frogs from the get-go. Her first Easter she was 6 months old, and I put a silky bunny and a stuffed frog in her basket. She never did bother with the bunny, it was frog all the way! But I digress, again. Something nagging in the back of my puny little brain is telling me it's time for a new frog wall-hanging for the office. I have a really cool pattern called Bullfrog Boogie, and I might tackle that, but it's a whole mess of teeny tiny pieces......... dunno if I can be that patient. I have a box full of frog wrapping paper that people bring me, and I've thought of using those cartoony guys for some sort of applique. This one is going to be hard to beat, I think, but I'm going to have to change it out. It can't hang around forever, and it's been a long time already. Perfect! Another project! LOL.....

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Progress After All

Happily, the worse of the flu seems to have run scared at the sight of my armament of drugs, LOL! I spent one crummy day being miserable, and Sunday being just punky but not feeling to bad - I'm going to say I escaped! Ya-hoo!!! (now having said that, watch me go down for the count tomorrow) I played in the sewing room today, a little bit here and there, nothing concentrated. Made one little baby quilt for our guild donations - just cutting squares and sewing them together then doing an envelope style layering. I even did some wavy lines of quilting on it!

Later in the day, I was aimlessly looking for something to do that wouldn't be too time consuming or brain taxing. I started thinking about those squares of upholstery fabric from a few blog entries back. About 6 years ago I bought a big bag made of those types of fabrics, and it has been my GO-TO bag ever since. I take it to classes, to reatreat, shopping, to guild, on planes when I travel -- it goes everywhere. A perfect size for me. As a consequence, it's starting to look like I schlep it around all over the place - go figure! I started eye-balling that old bag and got out those squares and began playing, and by dinner time I had a new bag:


It's the same size, but has a few tweeks I wanted. The original bag had a ring of pockets clear down at the bottom of the bag, and with the bag full it was tough to get to those pockets. I put custom sized pockets near the top - sized for pens, cell phone, can of mints, wallet, that kind of stuff. Because it was beautiful and sunny today, I made the bag sunny too -- and it definately lifts my spirits. I was moping pretty badly about missing my sew day. Aside from that, the weekend wasn't as bad as I was prepared for! In fact, it wasn't bad at all -- just slow and quiet. Not bad.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 16, 2007

Just Pathetic

Being sick is a waste of time. Ruins all your plans and makes a beautiful weekend a total waste of gorgeous weather. Takes a perfectly wonderful Sew Day with friends and trashes it. Makes normally nice people grumpy. Suddenly you have to carry your own diaper bag of junk around just to get from room to room. So, me and my disease are going to bed and be grumpy and cough a lot. Please, everyone have a great weekend for me! I can't wait to read what you've been up to!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Blame it on Finn!

A couple of weeks ago, Finn wrote about a discount book website she had found, Hamilton Books.
Addict that I am, I had to go look. Well, the box came the other day, and when Dh saw all the bounty, he asked, "Have you lost your mind?" then he asked, "Do you really think you need another quilt book?" (silly question) and finally, "How do you find all this stuff anyway?" I explained that Finn led me to it, and smiled................. to which he said,
"Well, at least books are cheaper in Finland" Hee hee hee, haa haa haa, ROFLOL!

I'm really really happy with that site - and the prices are fantastic. This big pile of books cost me less than $100, including shipping! And three of them are hardcover, that was a surprise, but a good one. I already have a couple quilts picked out that I want to do versions of. Not too much quilty this week besides the books - DH has been very very sick with pneumonia and that's kept me hopping, and not sleeping at night. I took to the couch so I don't catch whatever he's got, and I'm too long for our longest couch. I have a Sew Day scheduled for this Saturday, which happens to be National Quilting Day doncha know, but this morning I woke up with that coughing and congested feeling. Noooooooooo!!!

Everyone's doin' it, so here's my obligitory Spring Picture. Does it look hot? Because it is - over 80 today. Hard to believe we had snow 2 weeks ago. I do love my daffies, and can hardly wait till my whole yard is done being re-built so I can have hundreds of them. My chickens have suddenly remembered what their jobs are, and the egg basket is overflowing. Fortunately, we have 5 grandchildren living next door, so surplus isn't a huge problem. My DDIL won't eat them - she told us she doesn't want to eat brown eggs because they came out of a chickens butt. We asked her - Where do you think white eggs come from? With a perfectly serious face, she replied that White eggs come from the store. Ohhhh!!! Of course - the store!! Not a chickens butt at all -- Dh and I barely made it out of earshot before we howled with laughter -- our darling DIL is almost 40, but a city girl thru and thru. Another DIL was so tickled to see her hubby and his sibs chasing chinckens in my yard, something they grew up doing so they do it well. She couldn't get over that they knew how to catch them. She must have laughed for an hour, she was so tickled.
It's so beautiful I have to go back outside --

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Big Brave Kitty

5:30 am, curled up with coffee and Simply Quilts, and my big guy Cuervo starts yowling -- a low gutteral growl that means something is not right. Pretty soom he comes at me with his trophy - a mouse!!!

He is 16 years old and has lived indoors all his life so he's not exactly the Big White Hunter here; this is is second mouse. So first reaction was "eeeeeewwwwwwww - keep it away from me!"

Second reaction is - "What a good kitty! What a big brave boy!"
Third - (after he was done playing with it and commenced to crunching) "So you won't be needing breakfast then?"

Finally, "OMIGOSH! There's mice in my house!!!"

I'm a slow thinker.

He very sweetly brought me the remains while I was getting ready in the bathroom -- 1/3 of a well chewed mouse -- YUCK!

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Mariners Compass

Not too much quilty going on here - so I'll tell you an old story. A couple of years ago, I was president of our local guild and trying to get something going to get members excited. One of the things I tried was having a NAME quilter come do a trunk show, a first for us. I was so lucky to find Judy Mathiesan (of Mariners Compass fame) who happens to live not too awful far from here. Judy is delightful and no differant than any other prolific lady in your guild, just a sweetie. She brought a huge collection of fabulous quilts, including 'Nautical Stars', voted Best in Show at Houston, and one of the 100 Best Quilts of The 20th Century (cover of the book) by the International Quilt Association. Ya'll, I got to hold this quilt!!!

As Judy unpacked her bags before the meeting, she was piling quilts in the order she wanted them shown. This quilt came flying thru the air at me, along with a quick - "Here, hold this". I almost stopped breathing. She made this one with all little calico prints, most purchased from the cheapie folded goods table at the old Sprouse Reitz store. That really surprised me and goes to prove you can work miracles with any fabric. Those are teeny little pieces. It is stunning -- it glows. During her talk I was so priviledged to be a holder, along with my tall friend Chari. We got to see what most people don't, the backs! We checked out the quilting, the pieced backs, read all the labels and generally had a blast. She adds labels as the quilt ages, noting awards it's won, which shows it's been in and any other information picked up along the way. What a great idea! It made for really fun reading. All of her quilts are incredible, and she has the cutest doggy quilts I've seen. If you ever get the chance to see her or take a class, go for it - you won't be disappointed.