Archive for February 7th, 2010

Why do you quilt? What got you started? How long have you been at it? For whatever reason – most of us probably feel that there is so much comfort in touching soft fabrics, staring at quilt shop shelves loaded with choices – our eyes glazed over and heart rate up. I feel as comfortable entering a quilt shop as I do in my own kitchen…familiar surroundings with all the basics on hand and discovering new combinations that say Try Me! May I have 2 yards of that please – or 3 or 4…

Over the years, we have all probably pieced a great number of quilts intended as gifts for a loved one or participated in a group project for a friend – perhaps a cozy quilt to give comfort. Have you made your own “comfort quilt?” One that you pick up on a cold, winter’s night or grab for an afternoon nap? Usually easily pieced…not fussy.  The last one I made was entirely from flannels and the finished size was determined by what was on hand…it is a nice over the knee size, but square and a touch short for providing adequate coverage when the sofa is beckoning.

Last Fall while at our guild Retreat, I pieced a top from a kit – the colors were “smushy” – soft, warm little vintage prints. This past week,  I decided to machine quilt it with just an overall lazy, loopy free motion design (YLI’s Sticks and Stones.)  Found some flannel yardage in my stash and used a Hobbs 80/20 Cotton batting.  The binding is now done and I like the finished weight & feel of the whole thing…I will be getting a brand new knee on February 16 and when I come home it will be nice to cover up with this comfort quilt…if you have ever had knee replacement you know how much time you spend with bags of ice on the joint area. A person gets chilled very quickly! This will be my 2nd knee – I feel like a veteran….

And ta da!! Another applique block is now completed…the confidence level is slowly increasing as I get a feel for working with the colors.

The first 3 blocks were appliqued using the red dot interfacing method which seems to work okay for me. But block #4 will be trying the method of marking the pattern pieces on the back of the background fabric.  Will see how it goes.

This week’s pincushion is another antique piece which I have had for about 12 years. It provided a very interesting discovery when I was getting ready to photograph it. The pincushion may look somewhat bizarre to you as it did to me initially.

(And, no, I absolutely did not place those stick pins directly into the knee area!! 😮 Though acupuncture might be an interesting alternative to knee surgery??? The hat pins were there when I bought it.)

My friend, Dee, recently unearthed some information about Victorian Mourning Pins. These pins were entirely black and were used to secure mourning veils to bonnets in the late 1800’s – completely black garments, even underclothing, were dictated by Queen Victoria, following the death of her Prince Albert.

On closer examination of my pincushion,  found were over a dozen straight pins – the shafts are blackened and the pin heads are black glass. The pins hold the points of the lace in place. The lace is very old, black with an edging of what appears to be gold threads. The leg shape must have come from a doll – perhaps one no longer selvegable? It is stuffed quite firmly and covered in a mustard colored cotton chintz.

This photo is showing the reproduction mourning pins that Dee was able to locate for our tiny pin case – the 3 blackened pins below it are from my antique pincushion.

That is it for this week…the next few days will be busy with Pre-Op stuff and getting the house somewhat organized before surgery. Looks like a snowy week coming up – nothing like the folks on the East Coast though – our mild winter continues.

Have a good time watching the Super Bowl – should be a very good game to watch! Two good teams going at it…

Always take time to stitch.



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