A while ago, I was digging around in some boxes that had been tucked in the basement, under the stairs, at my Mom's house. Inside one of these boxes I discovered something pretty wonderful. Two quilt tops made by my Grandmother, my Dad's mom...A woman who liked to be called by her middle name, Rubye. A woman who had a small pipe tucked into her sewing box. A woman I barely knew, who died when I was three.
I remember Rubye's house...where the toy box was, where the gum was kept, climbing the orange & grapefruit trees out back, the chenille comfortors, the front porch swing. What I have very little memory of however, is the woman herself. So, you can imagine that finding these two quilt tops was something very special to me. I've introduced this one before
- & had thought that I would finish it by hand since Rubye had begun it that way. What I discovered after doing a nominal amount of hand-quilting is that I do not actually enjoy it!
So, after having only a small section quilted for months & months...after having it lay across the back of a chair, across the bed, in a corner...I finally decided if I wanted to ever get this done I might need to ask for some help! And, I did.
I talked to the one person I know that really enjoys hand-quilting, the one person I'd most definately trust to hand-quilt my Grandmother's little legacy, my Mother-In-Law, E. We made a deal. She'd do the quilting on this, & I'd cut pieces for her next quilt project - something I am in the midst of doing now - 100+ Grandmother's fan blocks! And, still, I'm so very glad I didn't do the quilting. One, because I really enjoy the cutting out process. Two, because E. did such an amazing job!
I am so madly in love with the way the quilting looks on the red backing fabric - like a constellation - I could just cry! I've already asked if E. would do the quilting on the second quilt for me for next Christmas as my gift. I love it so much! (This one will be going to it's new home before too long.)
I did have my own hands in the finishing of this quilt, however. I hand-bound it. And, I embroidered the label that I stitched to the back. I called the quilt "Americana".
Americana - materials concerning or characteristic of America, its civilization, or its culture;
things typical of America. Americana refers to artifacts, or a collection of artifacts, related
to the history, geography, folklore and cultural heritage of the United States.
I think it fits.
Holy Snow Day, Batman!
Two days ago we woke up to this lovely sight.
We were lucky, all the leaves were actually off our tree.
Know what happens when Fall hasn't finished dropping leaves & you get a foot of snow cover?
CRRRAAACCCKK! Bang! Boom!
Branches fall everywhere! Power lines go down. 60,000+ people are in the dark. Roads get blocked. Cars get smashed. People get hit in the head & go to the hospital. (It wasn't me or my family, Thank God!) It's really not as pretty as this picture trys to tell you it is.
But. Here we are. Picking up branches, chopping wood, surviving our first Snow Day. Oh, and yes, we've already done considerable melting & soon it'll be back to Fall outside. Minus, a few trees & limbs. Welcome to Colorado!
In other news...
We're not here to talk about snow
! We're here to talk about pillows
! Pillows, that easy peasy, lovely, cuddly, Handmade Holiday
gift you can recreate in a million different ways! How about with some embroidery today? And some more fancy home decorator fabric samples?
You can find embroidery inspiration everywhere! Flickr
is one of my favorite places. You can also search for Coloring Book pages
of any topic to find great patterns. And, don't forget to check out Etsy
where you'll find all sorts of cool patterns & project ideas.
I'm in pillow heaven. It might be hard to hand over some of these pillows I've been making come December 25th. But...then again...I could just take a little time for making myself a few new pillow covers...hmmm...
I'm a little bit obsessed.
I admit it.
That's half the battle.
I made some pillows last year...here
And, this year I'm at it again!
I kinda love it.
So easy. I love this tutorial
from Brett Bara. Sew
So pretty. So practical.
The pillow covers are removable for washing, or for changing out as you like to keep life interesting. I made mine from home decor sample fabric that was getting sold off from my local Joann's because they are moving to a larger store & starting fresh. But, you can buy any fabric you like...home dec., cotton, linen...cut it to the size of your pillow, follow the zipper tutorial & snap, bang, boom you have a fancy new throw pillow! You could also fancy it up with a piped edge or other creative goodness as you like. I have another variety of pillow happiness to share with you in a day or two...
Told ya I was a little bit obsessed!
Are you still out there??
Has it been forever? It sure feels that way! But, here I am back to share a little about what been happening around here...
First, my hardware issues aren't totally fixed, we improvised a fix that will keep me working while we decide what we want to do for a more permanent fix. So here I am! Second, I've been feeling like a busy bee the last couple of weeks & can't wait to share some cool stuff with you! I've been feeling like my 2011 One Little Word has really shown up around here recently & I am blooming in this new garden of friends in which I've been planted. Third, is that there is lots of real life work happening at our house recently. The pesky water leak we had hoped to fix ourselves (& never could find) has now been professionally dug up in our front yard. Only to discover the reason we couldn't find it is that it is under our house, cannot be repaired, & that we need to have a new line put in. Say Hello to the need to relandscape after that fiasco is completed! Also, we need a new roof...& a new air conditioner, as both succumbed to some hail damage earlier in the summer. It's like we're getting a whole new house! (OK, not really. Boo.) Anyway, in the midst of all this chaos of things going wrong, lets focus on the happy crafty things that have been going oh so very right around here!
On the top of that list is my mom's first quilt
I'm calling it "Red Brick Road" because the pattern is called Yellow Brick Road
& well, you can see that brick color! We've actually completed quite a set of quilty happiness with this fabric collection. A lap quilt, a table runner
, & two pillows.
Sorry about those cell phone pictures again...a camera is on the Christmas List, I promise! :)
I love this quilt. I love it's wrinkly, quilty deliciousness. I love that it fits prefectly in my mom's house. I love that we worked magic on scraps to make accessories to match. Mostly, I love that we made it together!
My mom & I also whipped out 40 napkins from an order I recieved in one afternoon! (Of which I did not take any pictures, but the stack was mighty impressive. Trust me.) We shopped for fabric in the morning, had lunch, then I cut & ironed while she got the hemming done. I really think we can move mountains when she & I work together. I also believe that even though I'm not working in a traditional 'bringing home the bacon' kind of way - the time I get to spend really being & working on projects with my mom will always be some of the most precious times in my life. How many daughters get this kind of blessing in their lives?
Now, sweet readers I have to run run over to all of your spaces to catch up on all that is happening in your lives! I so missed you!
Missing In Action.
For practical reasons I am having hardware issues with my laptop & need to take it over to the geek squard for repairs. Which I haven't gotten around to yet, even though it's been on the agenda for a week & a half.
I am able to use my hubby's computer (as I am right now) but there is an odd sense of This isn't my space. when I do & so I'm reluctant to do much more on here than check my email every other day or so. Odd. But true.
I have been finding this time away a little relaxing though. Not getting caught up in the keeping up of my online world. So this little break imposed by hardware failings has been kind of nice. Though I miss chatting with you & reading your blogs & seeing your pictures. I'm sure it will take me a week of intensive study to catch up when I get back to it. :)
I am however reading other things - I'm on my 6th book of the last two weeks & oh that feel's so good!
I'm also am finishing up a handmade holiday gift or two & catching up on other crafty lists. So I will have so many things to share when I am back in action! Oh, I also joined a craft group at church and we had our first meeting this week. Four hours of great conversation with four like-minded, craft-addicted women & each of us working on a different something. We meet every two weeks & I'm already trying to figure what to take to our next gathering to work on because even with the hum of consistant conversation we all got so much accomplished while we were together!
So, sweet readers, know this - I am still out here on my end of out electronic tether & I'm still thinking of you often. Missing the community we have but also finding a little revival of community in my real world life. I'll be back talkin' atcha & catching up on your lives as soon as I get this little hardware issue fixed. Until then - many, many Blessings!