Archive for August, 2008

Well, it was a perfect day to be outdoors today. Our quilt guild, Quilters at Heart, had a quilt frame set up under the shade trees at Postville Courthouse for their annual 1800’s Craft Fair. We were working on a quilt obtained at an auction by one of our members. It is a hand-pieced Grandmother’s Flower Garden. We don’t know who made it or how old it is. Maybe one of you quilt bloggers can date it by looking at the picture I took. If any of you has an idea please leave a comment or email me at darlayow@gmail.com.

Grandmother's Flower Garden

Grandmothers Flower Garden

Our quilt frame was set up near some of the musicians. (You can see the quilters in the distance behind the banjo-players hat) It was hard to sit still. The music was lively and I wanted to do a jig! (If only….)

A little boy stirs a bubbling pot of apple butter over an open fire. M-m-m-m.

There were rug weavers, one with a loom, one with an old wagon wheel!

An old treadle sewing machine, and a teepee with a fire burning inside.

A blacksmith was busy with his wares. And, as you can see, Abe Lincoln stopped by to watch. Actually, the real Abe Lincoln frequented the Postville Courthouse because he was a lawyer for the 8th Circuit here. He rode here on horseback to try cases.

A wood-carver stopped his work so I could snap his picture.

In the picture above a woman is spinning yarn. Below a man proudly shows his hand-dyed yarns; the dyes are all from natural products cooked over an open fire. One of the cauldrons had cedar brewing for a brown hue. Those yarns were a feast for the eyes.

Such a lovely display of herbs and vinegars. The herb lady graciously let me take her picture. She holds up a bowl of fragrant herbs.

I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon! The smells and sounds, the happy children, and QUILTING! It just doesn’t get any better. 🙂

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I am excited to go to an 1800’s Craft Fair today at the Postville Courthouse here in Lincoln. Our guild quilts on a frame there out on the lawn every year at this time. Usually it is so HOT! But today it is in the 70’s. Perfect weather for quilting, sun shining, nice breeze. I love to handquilt and it is so much fun to do it with other quilters. I will try to get some pics to post.

Well, I better get ready. I have to be there at 1:00.

Happy Quilting!


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I can’t see!

OK so last night I was getting ready for bed and my glasses fell off the bathroom counter. When I picked them up they looked a little off. Looking a little closer—-the earpiece just fell off!! Now these glasses are made of titanium, same stuff space shuttles are made of, not supposed to break. Here is what they look like now:

Bummer!! I love these glasses. I have been wearing them for a lo-o-o-o-ng time so the warranty is no longer good. I am “financially challenged” (code words for p-o-o-r) so I won’t be getting new ones right away.

I scrounged around in my dresser and came up with an old pair, a really old pair–like 1980’s old.

It is going to be so embarrassing to wear these things. But, hey, what you gonna do?

The good thing is I don’t need them to quilt. I have perfect vision up close. But, driving the van would be dangerous. Now I could balance my broken glasses on my nose to drive but they might fall off. That wouldn’t be good. So I guess I will don my 1980’s BLUE frames (very heavy, by the way) to drive the van.

Speaking of driving the van, Rachel called and wants me to come to Bloomington today to move her to a different dorm. We just moved her there on Tuesday. Her dad and some other students carried her stuff up to her present suite on the second floor (no elevators).

I have three problems in accomplishing this:

#1 I have MS and have difficulty walking and keeping my balance let alone trying to carry boxes on stairways.

#2 My glasses are broken so I will either have to balance my broken ones on my nose or wear my 1980’s blue giant lenses (can’t wait to see the look on Rachel’s face when I pull up with my “new look”)

#3 My 15 yr old son has a dentist appointment that we need to keep at approximately the same time that Rachel is supposed to move.

Hopefully Rachel will have some other students to help with the move. That would take care of problem #1.

I will quickly remove whatever glasses I decide to wear to make the drive up there just as soon as I park the van. That will take care of problem #2.

I just re-scheduled my son’s dentist appointment. Can’t get him in till October. Oh well, problem #3 solved.

Something tells me I am not going to get much quilting done today. Oh well, maybe tonight when all is accomplished I can sit in my rocking chair and quilt to my heart’s content and I won’t need any glasses to do it!

my rocking chair

my rocking chair

Here are some photos of my chatelain which I wear around my neck when I am quilting. It has pockets for my needle cases, my thread, my thimble and finger cot. It is quilted so I just stick my needles through the fabric for safe-keeping when I am not using them to quilt. I made this chatelain years ago from a pattern put out by Fons & Porter. It has been one of the most useful quilting “tools” I own. It keeps all my quilting necessities in one place and, since it hangs around my neck, I don’t misplace anything. Also it’s kind of neat to put quilting pins on from quilt shows or just for decoration.

chatelaine and scissors

chatelaine and scissors

top pocket with needle cases

top pocket with needle cases

another top pocket where I keep my thread

another top pocket where I keep my thread

my chatelaine

my chatelaine

bottom pocket of chatelain with my thimble and finger cot

bottom pocket of chatelain with my thimble and finger cot

My scissors are always around my neck also, whether handquilting or using the sewing machine. I got tired of searching for my scissors so I attached them to a piece of elastic. I added a small pink silk rose just for a little feminity. The scissors are actually cuticle scissors so the points are rounded. (In the past my scissors were forever punching holes in pockets). The elastic is long enough to reach the thread on my sewing machine so that I don’t have to remove it from my neck. A simple solution for a pesky problem. Here is a picture of my scissors close up.

I gotta get ready to go to Bloomington now.

Happy Quilting!

P.S. Thanks for the comments from some of you sister quilters. I appreciate that.

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We will be taking my daughter back to college tomorrow morning. I am going to miss her so much. She brings me so much joy. She is a junior this year, majoring in Elementary Education. She had been attending Webster University in St Louis MO but is transferring to Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington-Normal. She will only be 35 min. from home now as opposed to 2 1/2 hrs when she was in St Louis. So at least she can come home on weekends very easily.

Rachel has been packing today and I have gone back and forth between handquilting and blogging. I am almost done with the Stars and Stripes Forever.

It is really an easy quilt to make and I am stitching “in the ditch” so there was no marking involved. When I finish with it I will go back to that Jacobs Ladder.

That one is going to take a while to quilt since it will be queen size.

I have been surfing around other quilt blogs and have subscribed to those with RSS Feed. Google Reader makes it very easy and convenient to keep up with my favorite blogs. Speaking of blogs….I love this new WordPress blog. I love the new look and the new features like, for instance, the blog stats. It is fun to see how many people have visited each day and which pages they read. So I think this blog is a keeper.

Well it is getting late and I need to get plenty of rest before the big move tomorrow. I will talk to you later.

Happy quilting 🙂

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I have been busy handquilting

I am handquilting the quilt top I just finished.

I hope to have it done in time for the 2008 Railsplitter Festival in September. I have also been working on that 10+ yr old quilt I started hand-piecing a loooong time ago. It is a Jacob’s Ladder. I machine-pieced the remaining 32 blocks for a total of 42 blocks.

I took 4 blocks and arranged them 3 different ways:

More later

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I made a short trip to Bloomington IL today to get some muslin for the quilt backing and also to look for the fabric I am short on. I got the muslin (plus a few fat quarters I couldn’t resist) but I couldn’t find the navy blue fabric I needed. I kinda thought I wouldn’t be able to find it since it has been a few years since I first bought it.

So, now I have all I need to get that quilt top, batting, and backing basted so I can start quilting! That’s the best part. I struggle through the piecing but the hand quilting is like heaven….very therapeutic. I actually started hand quilting when my father died….I was 45 yrs old then. For some reason I had the strong urge to make a quilt while I was grieving. I have since heard of other women who started quilting when they had lost a loved one. I wonder exactly what the psychological explanation is for that? My mother never quilted. And I always admired quilts but I never wanted to make one because I never liked sitting still very long. I had lots of nervous energy to burn. But, anyway, for whatever reason I just had a burning desire to make a quilt. My husband was gone on a business trip at the time. I had some curtains (which I had made) that my husband did not like. So, while he was gone, I took down the curtains and cut them up and made a quilt out of them. It was an Irish Chain design, very easy to put together. It is one of the sorriest examples of a quilt that you have ever seen! But, you know, everybody in my family loves that quilt! I call it Dad’s quilt even though he was deceased when I made it because I really had him in my heart while I was making it. I still think of him whenever I see that quilt. My kids ask for that quilt when they are sick. They call it the “healing quilt” because they say it always makes them feel better. Here are a few pics of Daddy’s Quilt:

That is part of the story of why I started quilting. I plan to write a page on that later. Happy Quilting!

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