Wednesday, February 20, 2013

An Afternoon at the Museum

Things were hopping last weekend at the Ashland Historical Society Museum.   Saturday afternoon we helped put up a display of vintage sewing items - most items were from my mother and my grandmothers.  It was a fun afternoon and the creativity was flowing.

Isn't this an absolutely lovely display case?  The carving is amazing.  The big glass windows slide upward to open.  I've never seen a cabinet like that before, have you?

First we set up a display of pearl buttons, the old fashioned kind made from clams and mussels from the Mississippi River.  Making Pearl Buttons was a huge industry in Iowa from around 1890 through the 1920's and peaked around 1916.

There's a shelf with old wooden spools from Belding Heminway, Lily, J&P Clark and Clark's ONT to name a few.  There are a couple of interesting vintage spool holders too.  

Also in the case are a couple of Singer sewing machines.  My Aunt Mary Ellen's 1954 model and a wonderful  1882 fiddleback that is in the Museum collection.

On the middle shelf are a couple 1956 issues of The Workbasket Magazine, probably the earliest sewing and needlecraft magazine.  Publication began in October 1935 and was in print for over 60 years! 

Recently I found out that some of the redwork patterns from Workbasket have been digitized for embroidery machines and I was so excited to find a copy of Redwork from the Workbasket by Rebecca Kemp Brent.  I stitched up a redwork sewing basket from the book and put it in my mothers old green metal and cork embroidery hoop.

Take a look at that wonderful red and white Eight-Pointed Star quilt from the Museum collection!  All hand made, probably between 1880 and 1920.  The star blocks are about 8 inches.

Next to the large cabinet is a smaller one where we put some patterns from the 1940's, some photos of old Ashland, WI fabric shops from days gone by, and on the bottom my grandmother's pincushions and other old sewing notions.  Two of the pincushions are little dogs, and the tongues are pull-out tape measures.   So cute!

There are some of my small quilts in the background to brighten up the display and on a quilt rack along side the display case are a couple more quilts - In the Library design by Debby Kratovil, Patches & Pinwheels design by Bonnie Hunter, a Log Cabin American Flag, Broken Dishes design by Kathleen Tracy and one of the 1905 reproduction doll quilts from the Bloomington Historical Society.

They also picked my Carpenters Star quilt with music themed fabric and put it near the piano from the 1800's that is being restored.  The museum volunteers have been raising money for the project and finally have enough to get the restoration started.

If you're in the Ashland, Wisconsin area any time, stop in to the Museum.  It's in a little storefront right on Main Street.  And if you're there between now and the middle of May, come take a look at the vintage sewing display!  Be sure to tell  the Museum Curator that I sent you.  She's my daughter, and I couldn't be prouder of the work she is doing in Ashland.

Reproduction quilt patterns for the 1905 doll quilts will be available in the gift shop.



Wednesday, February 13, 2013

100th post: Happy Valentine's Day

Harlequin Hearts 2000
What better day to share my 100th blog post than Valentine's Day?  Thank you all for being such wonderful blog friends!  You're Sweethearts - every one of you.  Your sweet comments and support have made writing a blog so much more fun than I ever imagined.

Here are a couple of quilty Valentines to share with you....

The first is Harlequin Hearts which I made in about 2000.  I wish I had made a note of the magazine where I found the pattern.

Bleeding Hearts 2004
The second is a queen size quilt that is on our bed each Valentine's Day.  My notes say I started it on Valentine's Day 2004.   My mother had a big bleeding heart plant near our kitchen door when I was growing up.  This pattern reminds me of those pretty pink flowers.  The quilt really needs more quilting, and now that I'm getting better at that I think it's time to put some feathers in those setting triangles.

And what's a 100th blog post without a celebration?  Yep, I have a give away!   I've made a sweet little 12inch tulip redwork and it could be on it's way to you!!  Just leave a comment (or send an e-mail) and I'll put your name in the drawing.  It's a busy weekend, so I'll draw a name on Monday.  Since I'm just a little blogger your odds are really good.  So let's hear from you!

Happy Valentine's Day!
Leave a comment and you might win this little quilt!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Anniversary Quilt: Louisiana block

Mardi Gras is coming up quickly, and it's a good time to share another block from our 25th Anniversary Quilt.  We had the opportunity to travel to New Orleans one year to visit my Aunt and Uncle.

Here's our traditional Louisiana block, done in the Mardi Gras colors of gold, green and purple.
The pattern can be found here at Quilters Cache.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Happy Dance Friday!

Doing my happy dance this morning!  The past two days I've been working hard to get the main field done on Celtic Square Wedding Quilt.  Except for a few times when I wasn't paying attention to which direction my pieces were going the top went together beautifully!  

Next step is to put on the first border to stabilize the edges.  I HAD to get fancy and put the quilt on point, so all the edges are bias.  I wanted it to resemble Double Wedding Ring a little.  This was the first time I have used a spray starch to stabilize fabric.  All the gals at Hancock Fabrics recommended Best Press, and it seems to have helped considerably. I was also very careful when handling the quilt top to minimize stretching.  I'll breathe a little easier then that first border is on. 

I'm coming up on my 100th blog post this week too.  Wow!  I never knew I had that much to share.  It's been so much fun! Something special is in order, but I haven't got a clue what that will be yet.  Maybe a free pattern?   I've been too busy to think about it!  This quilt top was first on my priority list, and second is putting together a museum display of vintage sewing items and some of my quilts for the Ashland Historical Society Museum in Ashland, WI.  That goes up next weekend so I'd better get to work!

What's got you dancing today?  Linking up with Sarah.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The last straw....

For the month of February I put up a pretty red and cream quilt on the kitchen wall.   The pattern is an adaptation of Broken Dishes by Kathleen Tracy which I made up last year.  Our daughter was home and said, "Do you know that you have one block turned sideways?"

Aargh!  No, I didn't know.  Well, I thought I'd call it my humility block because the quilt is all finished and quilted up.   Then our son saw it and asked "Do you know....?"  Later my DH says..."I wasn't going to mention, but there's a block....."     Finally, the last straw.  My sister brought over a pecan pie on Saturday evening and as she was slicing and serving said, "You have one block that's backwards." 

If everyone is going to notice it but me I'd better fix it!  So during the football game last night I sat with my seam ripper and carefully took the offending block out.  It's all pinned back up and I'll just top stitch it back in place and re-sew the quilting. 

Also on the To-Do list this week is sew up the next 20 blocks for our son's wedding quilt.   That should keep me busy!