Sunday, July 12, 2020

Vintage Crazy Quilt

On Tuesday, I met with two high school classmates, Sandra and Larry. They have been clearing and sorting through the belongings of Sandra's mother's home and came across a quilt that Sandra had never seen before. Knowing of my love of quilts, she'd asked if I would look at it and tell her something about it.

What Sandra had was a crazy quilt. It was in such fragile condition, that we didn't unfold it entirely to see the whole quilt. The date on this ribbon dates it sometime after 1902. She's done some research on the ribbon, but did not found anything that provided useful details.

This smaller patch also indicates military involvement - Company C, whose motto must have been 'Pluck, Punctuality, Perseverance.'

While there are quite a few military and patriotic motifs, plenty of other pictures are depicted, too, so I wouldn't consider it to be a tribute to someone's military service.

This round black bit is velvet; it feels very plush and remains in good condition. 

This is an example of how the some fabrics are falling apart. Just about all of this particular patch is gone. And there were other parts that were bigger, and even more shredded with age than this. Look, though, at the variety of stitches in just this one area.

This is the edge of the quilt. It is unfinished, and the maker had the sense to whip-stitch the raw edges. I wonder if the maker intended to use border? How would she have bound it? Did she have plans for more decorative stitches or more ribbons and embellishments?

I have put out some inquiries about quilt restoration, historical preservation, and the like. I've not learned too much, but I think I will be able to provide some direction eventually.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Periwinkle Update

This is supposed to be a quilting blog, yet I have done very little posting lately, and just about everything besides quilting for the last few weeks. No more. I have some actual stitching to share. *grin*

Currently residing on my design wall are 17 periwinkle blocks that I have been hand stitching. This was my on-the-road project during our trip, and I have continued working on them since being home as my machines have been out for a bit of pampering and servicing.

When traveling nearly 6000 miles across the country, small and simple work best. This little project box was the perfect size for sliding in and out of my travel tote, as it contains all the necessary items for simple hand piecing. I also kept extra stuff contained for easy access, when needed. Take a look.

Besides my thread, block parts, and pincushion, I see earbuds, a packet of lemonade mix, embroidery floss (for a 2nd project that I never once worked on), lip balm, and a pencil. This fit comfortably on my lap or at my feet and when we stopped, I could quickly fasten the top on and move about without losing track of all the things.

Like I said, I have continued to work on these blocks here at home. It has been so daggone hot! Weather dude said last evening that we'd had 11 days above 90 degrees. And high humidity to go with it. Ewww! I have queued up an audiobook and stitched away on these hot afternoons and evenings. To see previous posts regarding this periwinkle project, click here and here.

I have my sewing machines back from the spa - yay! - and there are several other developments ongoing, so I hope to be back to quilting posts from here on out. At least for awhile.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Travel Roundup

The two of us are still in the bubble of post-vacation euphoria. It's a whole lot more palatable than facing the realities of real world and daily life.

Lingering over vacation photos has been made all the easier because both my Berninas are still in for spa treatments being done while we were away. I couldn't have sewn if I'd wanted to.

So back to vacation. I gave myself permission to take time to organize the memories and to journal about our impressions. Sorting, weeding, and organizing the pictures and videos has been time-consuming work. Going through them so many times, however, has made it simpler for me to determine some of my most favorite pictures and the highlights of the trip.

This moody picture is one of my favorites. The Clearwater River is a rapids-filled and fast-moving waterway that spills into the Snake River. Located in Idaho, explorers Lewis and Clark followed the Clearwater on their way to the Pacific. It is easy to imagine the explorers seeing views exactly like this on their Westward journey. Were they as amazed as we were at the breathtaking beauty of the West? How did they ever convey the enormity of the mountains, the beauty of the land and the sounds of the wilds? 

Words have failed me a lot since this trip; I told someone that I don't think I know enough adjectives to adequately sum it all up. My pictures don't come near to doing justice to all the beauty, but we took them anyway - over 300 still shots and over 100 short videos. (All on our iPhones!)

This photo of the Columbia River as the sun was baking off the morning mist is another of my top pictures. This was taken as we headed east out of Hood River, OR, on our way to Idaho and then Montana. As I think of it now, this picture was taken the same day as the first one - this one at around 7am, and the one up top around 4pm. The Clearwater River runs into the Snake River, and the Snake River runs into this river, the Columbia. And of course, the Columbia runs into the Pacific. All of this area was mapped for President Thomas Jefferson by the Lewis and Clark Expedition. 

Another highlight was our quick drive through the Redwood Forest in the northwest corner of California. Many folks take their entire vacation in the Redwoods, so we only saw a tiny bit in our 2-3-hour jaunt. We frequently remarked that coming back to explore these natural beauties and attractions more fully is always an option. 

Our 10-day journey had two goals: 1) to return our son to his home in Oregon (he'd been with us in Ohio for most of the pandemic), and 2) to visit cousins in Montana. Having DS Adam along for the first half of the trip as a tour guide through Oregon was great; he knew his way around to Three Sister peaks, Crater Lake, and Klamath Falls. He also mapped out a reasonable route for us to follow after we dropped him off. The photo below is near where Adam lives on the Sprague River.

I seem to have taken quite a few pictures of waterways. I will not apologize for this; the routes we traveled typically followed various rivers, and I suspect they were once ancient trails used by Native Americans and early European settlers. And the beauty speaks for itself. It was near this river that we saw a bald eagle soaring high overhead, looking just as majestic as one would expect.

Posing in front of Crater Lake, we documented our visit with this photo. DH was smart in bringing a sweatshirt; there was still snow on the ground in places throughout this park, and with a brisk breeze, I was chilled, for sure.

The peaks of the Three Sisters. I shared about my visit to Sisters, OR, and the destination quilt shop stop, The Stitchin' Post on Instagram here. I will do a post for the blog soon.

One of my bucket list goals was seeing the Pacific Ocean, having never yet done so. It is now checked off that list, because we saw the most beautiful ocean views traveling north along the Oregon coast.

Besides taking Adam back to Oregon, our other primary goal on this trip was to visit cousins at their remote mountain cabin, so I will finish this wrap-up with some pictures and details from central Montana.

Approaching the road to Steve and Peg's, we saw this herd of elk casually grazing.

Standing in front of the cabin, one can see distant BLM property.

Steve loaded us into his ATV in order to show us
the rugged 40 acres on which his cabin is located.

This clearing is a plateau above their cabin.

The cabin has all the comforts of home; yet no mail service. Steve's ingenuity
provided access to internet and satellite TV. Yes, the mounted elk was
one of Steve's bow-hunting successes from several years ago.

After a supper of elk burgers, we sat around the firepit,
enjoying the view while Steve and Peg prepared s'mores.

Coincidentally, this was our 41st anniversary;
what a memorable way to celebrate.

Breakfast, black coffee and elk sausage.

The cabin is so remote that we couldn't drive our car to it;
Steve returns us to where we parked in his ATV. 
We had this Montana-style traffic jam with other commuters.

Our farewell picture: Peg, Steve, Kevin and Jayne.
We'll get to see them again this November for a Buckeye football game.

Is it evident that we enjoyed our visit with them? They were so gracious in welcoming us. We sprung our visit on them rather last minute, but they couldn't have been more hospitable. As you might imagine, they get very few guests besides their own kids, and occasionally, their siblings. I do believe it was as special for them to host us as it was for us to experience their hidden Montana gem.

Today, I pick up my sewing machines. I might yet have a sewing post for this blog. The handstitching has continued on the periwinkle blocks, and I have also pulled out some big-stitch quilting for a UFO that needs finishing.

Hope you are having a great day, and 
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy 4TH!

We celebrated with friends and fireworks last night, and tonight we are going again to different friends. Fun times.

We got home from our trip about 5:30 yesterday afternoon, and were partying by 7:30. What a crazy day.

Today we have gotten back into some semblance of a routine, and tomorrow is pretty much unplanned.

Time to relax.

Happy Independence Day, and
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, July 3, 2020

Hello July!

If one has traveled over 5000 miles in the last 9 days, she can be forgiven if she is a bit late in welcoming the new month, right?

So much happened in June, it might take me two posts to fully recap it all. With all the coronavirus madness out there, I really doubted that our trip would happen. We did it, though, and it was wonderful.

First, let me go over the regular stuff from before the trip with this first collage.

Top Row
We began the month fighting raccoons. We trapped 7 raccoons all of which were treated humanely and released in a distant, safe location. We spent a day early in the month in Mansfield visiting Kingwood Garden Center, and my first quilt top finish was Lady of the Lake.

Middle Row
We accomplished some significant outdoor improvements which all are highlighted in the middle row. We had a giant boulder moved out of our wooded area for an eventual landscape feature. Our front sidewalk is now cement, much easier to keep clean and safer for stepping up to the porch. Finally, cement was poured for a driveway apron. We love this addition.

Bottom Row
I love the star that I used for a tutorial here on the blog. I now need to come up with a way to use it. The next star is my sample for hand stitching while in the car on the trip. I have made several! The final picture is our official 41st anniversary picture - we are at my cousin's Montana mountain cabin. We were at the fire pit eating s'mores; our 40th was memorable, yet this one may have topped it.

The vacation collage contains 9 pictures that represent the highlights of our trip up to the last day of June. Here's the list:

1. Abilene, Kansas, the boyhood home of President Eisenhower.
2. Remainder of an old prairie homestead in western Kansas. Made me think of the book by Willa Cather, My Antonia.
3. Rocky cliff face in the Colorado Rockies.
4. Alien-looking landscape of southern Utah.
5. First clear glimpse of the Three Sisters Peaks in central Oregon.
6. DH and I posing at Crater Lake in southwest Oregon.
7. DH standing next to a redwood tree in northern California.
8. A scenic view of the Pacific Ocean from the Oregon coast highway.
9. The view from cousin Steve's remote mountain cabin in the mountains of Montana.

I plan to write more fully about our trip in an upcoming post. I hope I can do it justice. The sights were so incredibly breathtaking; I seriously doubt I know enough adjectives to properly describe the scenes.

One more day on the road and we'll be home; get right to work tidying the luggage and laundry, prepping food to take to two different holiday parties; getting groceries; and maybe visiting with our daughters, one of whom has moved to a new apartment. We will hit the ground running, for sure, when we get back home.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, June 29, 2020

Sewing In the Car

You may or may not be aware that DH and I are currently away on vacation. But a sewist doesn't just stop sewing, most of the time anyway. I brought along some hand stitching and have made a bit of progress since Wednesday.

 I am stitching periwinkle blocks using fabrics I got in 2019 while on vacation in Key West, thus my name for this quilt will be Key West Quilt. Original, huh? I wrote about prepping this project here.

My original thought was to mix up all the fabrics in each block. However, I don't have very much variety, so every block would end up being practically the same. I decided to make blocks that contain the same central fabric, and I like this look. I have made a grand total of six blocks! Whoa!
Not very many, but we have had so many great sights to see. I need to soak in all the beauty of the American West!

My first block; mixed look.

Subsequent blocks, uniform look.
The lighting in these photos is lousy. I'm not good with lighting in normal conditions, but put me in a motel room and I can get some really awful lighting! *hah!*

I am, however, loving that a circle forms when the four blocks come together. This quilt will have lots of movement.

Our vacation has been a smashing success thus far. We have traveled over 3300 miles, and we are just now beginning to head back toward home. We have been in ten states so far from Ohio to California. Our return trip will take us to Montana to see cousins. We hope to be home by Friday.

Don't worry that I am broadcasting the fact that we are away from home. We left the house in good hands, as a close friend is staying with our kitty and keeping the plants watered, the mail gathered and the birds fed.

Hope you are getting some stitching done!
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Big Rock; Big Move

While the Mennonite neighbors had their various pieces of equipment here for the sidewalk and driveway apron project, I asked them if they would move a rock for me. Harlan was the lead man on the job and while the one day that the cement was poured required assistance from three other men, Harlan returned a couple more times to do the finishing. So it fell to him to take on the new task.

Crazy lady wants a rock in her yard.

I imagine the notion seemed quite ridiculous to him, but he was willing to give it a try.

A try? Well, you see this rock was lodged into the bank of a stream near our house. I did a bit of research on the ice age as it affected the region that is now Ohio, and it is entirely possible that this rock was deposited in this stream by the Illinoian glacier about 300,000 years ago. Of the four glaciers believed to have impacted our region, this is the glacier that advanced the farthest south.

So, yeah, moving this rock - or perhaps more accurately this boulder - would require a bit of an effort. After I'd shown Harlan the rock I had my eye on, I suspect that it became a personal challenge to see if he could do it. Or perhaps he was skeptical that his skid loader was up to the task. After all, we only saw a portion of the rock and had no idea how much was underground.

I may have missed the best part of the process, for when Harlan came back to deal with the boulder, I did not get outside in time to see him digging it out of the stream bed. I sure wish I had, though. DH watched, and according to him, Harlan had his hands full with maneuvering the loader, dealing with the incline of the stream bed, wrapping the chain around the boulder to assist in pulling it out, and then wedging the boulder into the bucket.

Here's the part I did get to see.

Harlan hauls the boulder into the yard.

He releases the chain. This damp-looking part was underground.

He dumps it out and backs away. This was the part above ground.

Our ice-age boulder.

Note the striations, that vertical gash on the left, and the lichen.

A closer look at the lichen and striations.

I wish I'd gotten a close-up picture of Harlan's face as he dumped that boulder into the yard. It was priceless! His eyes and grin revealed how incredibly impressed he was that he had actually conquered the massive move. He was so self-contained in his satisfaction, yet his look spoke volumes - he was like a kid who'd caught the giant fish. This boulder may get a little bigger in the repeated telling of the story.  No doubt this will be an oft-repeated tale as he sees friends and family in the coming days and weeks.

And how big is it, you ask? Well, Harlan has a good bit of experience moving, lifting and loading and knows what his machine can handle. He estimated that the boulder weighs more than 3500 pounds, possibly as much as 4000 pounds. Impressive, for sure.

Our next step in creating this garden vignette is to outline the space, dig out the turf, and add some topsoil and mulch. We intend to erect a flagpole for an American flag kit we got last year, as well as plant a few flowers - preferably some that will add color from spring through fall. I'm thinking tulips for spring, coreopsis for summer blooms, sedum for fall, and a hosta or pampas grass for year-round interest.

Fun projects keep presenting themselves, and we tackle them as we can. This boulder thing has been in our plans for a long time, and was totally worth the wait.

Happy Quilting, Friends!