Saturday, January 25, 2014

Marvelous Marie #3

Drumroll! The inaugural Saturday post of Marvelous Marie and Quilts from My Sewing Machine.

Without any question, the first post will be of one of Aunt Marie's quilts. You'll not want to miss the previous blogs about my Aunt and quilt muse. The first is Aunt Marie's history and the not-to-be-missed Gallatin Quilt.

Aunt Marie left me many quilt tops that she had made but not finished. Once her eyesight became poor enough, in her 80's, she couldn't hand quilt, she continued to piece tops. I have been working on these tops and thus these quilts are a collaboration between the two of us. The second blog is just such a collaboration between Aunt Marie and I called The 70's are Calling, They Want Their Fabric Back!.

The 70's Are Calling! R to L: Me, My Mom, My Sister at
my High School graduation in 1972
You want to know something that's wonderful about my Aunt Marie and Uncle Elbert? They helped put me through college! For four years they gave me a enough money to pay my rent and cover monthly expenses. Angels. My grandmother, Mom's and Uncle Elbert's mom, had died when I was in my junior year in high school. She left money to each of her four children. Aunt Marie and Uncle Elbert didn't have children. They said they didn't need the money, so they used it to help put me through college. Absolute angels!

Uncle Elbert, Aunt Marie and I at Disneyland the summer
before I started college.

Today's quilt is one I call Mystery Stars. I was well familiar with two of Marie's finest quilts before she died. This one I had never seen.

Aunt Marie made this quilt around 1955, the year I was born. Isn't a beauty! The polka dots are so adorable. I loved how she mixed it up and used plaid in a few blocks too. This quilt belongs to Nancy Drew now. I borrowed it from her to take it to the appraiser. It very nearly didn't get back to her because I love this quilt. A lot. A lot.

I took this to be appraised when I went PIQF (Pacific International Quilt Festival) in 2009. I was quite surprised to find that while the blocks were hand pieced, the sashing that joined the blocks together were machine sewn. Jaw drop!

My Aunt was a hand piecer/quilter all the way. She started quilting when she was very young, around 1913. She learned the "old-school" way. I would never have known she used a sewing machine on any quilt had I not taken this to the appraiser.

I wish I knew more about the history of this quilt. It doesn't have a label, because she never labeled her quilts. ALWAYS label your quilts! And no provenance. ALWAYS keep a provenance.

Because of my Aunt's quilts, I label my quilts and keep a provenance on them (see tab above). She taught me a lesson. I'm trying to teach you one too!

The appraiser was quite flummoxed about the star blocks. She'd never seen the block anywhere. She said, "You're Aunt liked to keep some mysteries in her quilts!" Her quilting was 8-9 stitches per inch. I'm not even going to tell you how many stitches to the inch I do. Or is that inches to the stitch? The blocks are a whopping 19"! I thought 12 was large...

I have close-ups of the blocks, but they are on my iPhone. The phone needs a replacement battery, which is winging it's way here.

To quote the appraiser, "This possibly could be made in California [where Marie lived] because the quilt's smaller size and lighter filling could imply a warmer climate. ...The Grandmother Clark catalog came out in 1931 or 1932; their pattern for Diamond Field is very similar to this one."

Grandmother's Flower Garden were quite popular in the 1930's. My Aunt's quilt has smaller hexies, is in great condition as well as it's unusual size (91" x 71") makes it of greater value.

Who cares about value? I only do it for insurance. And then again I wonder even about that. If the quilts were destroyed, no amount of compensation would recreate her lovely work.

I have close-ups of the blocks, but they are on my iPhone. The phone needs a replacement battery, which is winging it's way here.

I would love to make this quilt someday. I'd even more love to have this quilt. I'd even more, more love to let Nancy Drew keep it.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Just Call Me Mrs. X

Yup, that's me...Mrs. X

Or is it a jinx?

I keep thinking it's going to stop...

You might remember I was whining about how poorly my sewing was going this weekend...I was doing more un-sewing than sewing. I finally figured out that I was going to rip out my seams before I sewed them, if I could! It'd save time.

Yesterday I signed in at a school. I spelled my name wrong. Uhhhmmm, your name is spelled T-e-r-r-i. Not T-e-r-r-y.

Later I was writing an email. I signed off with: Thanks, Donna. My name is not Donna. I don't even know a Donna!

I went to quilt with my good friend for our regular Wednesday Quilt Night. I needed to wind a new bobbin. Tell me, is this what your bobbin looks like after you wind it?

This morning Noel Heart texted me. I tried to text back. My phone wouldn't send it. I'm in my house. I get good reception and the phone can also use wi-fi.

I tried to call her. The phone wouldn't put the call through.

I went to start my computer. It wouldn't come out of sleep mode. Never had this problem. Had to turn power off and start again.

Honestly, I'm afraid to go outside.

Who knows who I am today?

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Little Log Cabin That Couldn't

But first, a word from our sponsor: Me!

Terri, a quilter extraordinary, (PR to sell more copies) has released exciting news today via her website, Quilting Nonnie. We are thrilled to hear that this adventurous and intrepid quilter (now stop it! I'm blushing) is going to be sharing the history of her past quilts and that of her beloved Aunt Marie, who is her muse, with the blogosphere (translation: whoever visits). The news was greeted with wild anticipation by many.

TGS says, "I am looking forward with great joy to seeing the background of how Terri has become such a marvel in the quilt world!" SWH was heard to say, "Did you hear the marvelous news about Terri, that amazing quilter, is finally to break the silence and tell about her aunt, Marvelous Marie's, quilts. In another excited utterance, Hubby said, "I wish she'd just get on with it; the reporters constantly calling us and hanging around our house is a terrible nuisance!"

Terri was reached at home in her quilting studio and told us, "I am breathless. Simply breathless. And agog. Yes, agog. This is a project I've been wanting to do for years. Years. And finally I said to myself, "Self, when are you going to honor my public's request to hear more about Marvelous Marie and myself, Quilting Nonnie.

Quilting Nonnie, as she calls herself, and her blog, has revealed that these no-holds-barred narratives will appear on Saturdays in her blog. She will alternate weeks with her memoirs of her beloved aunt and her own quilts.

Previously Quilting Nonnie has published very few essays on either herself or her aunt. Previous entries about her aunt can be found here and here. Posts about Quilting Nonnie's superb quilts are here and here.

Pop Quiz! What quilt did I work on last week?

Wow! You're right! Yes, it was the Log Cabin quilt for my son and his "new" wife. (They've been married 18 months)

I think I've now figured out what I was doing last week. I was sewing seams so I could rip them out. Yes, my seam ripper and I love each other. At least what the seam ripper keeps telling me.

I was ripping out too short logs, logs put on the wrong side of the square, logs put on wrong side out, a whole set of blocks where I had put two yellows of the same fabric. And then finished the block. I had to rip out 6 rows! Times 5. Do the math. Now imagine how much I actually accomplished this week.

It's luck today is a holiday, because I actually want to make progress; defined as moving forward not backward.

At least my L/E progressed. Here are some of my favorites from last week:

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