Feeds:
Posts
Comments


Hello there – I have joined everyone over at Jenny Matlock’s (please click on this link – WordPress is not letting the button above work right now) for her Alphabe-Thursday. The letter for this week is “I.”

Inscribe – defined as to write or engrave…or dedicate.

Beautiful handwriting has long been something I have admired. My own handwriting has never been much to speak of and has deteriorated over the years.  Recent statistics indicate that future generations will probably not even have this basic skill. Their thumbs will develop to be better able to text at higher speeds. Will they even be able to hold a pen or pencil? If you are of my generation (WW II babies) then you will recall those early years in elementary school…can you picture the lined tablet paper – not a true white if I recall – more ivory. There were 2 sets of lines, one in bold for capital letters and the lighter, shorter line for lower case. There was always a large chart attached to the top of the blackboard and could be pulled down like a shade. It would reveal well -rounded script which we would attempt to duplicate on our paper. The pencils were thick allowing little hands to hold onto the shaft easily and the lead must have had a “BBB” rating for very soft. We had to be careful so it did not smear as our hands moved across the page.

Austin Palmer’s approach was to enable penmanship students to write more clearly and with less effort. He introduced his method around 1888 and it became the standard in schools for many years.

My own Dad, who is 92, was taught the Palmer Method and to this day, his handwriting is elegant and legible.

It is the incredible artistic writing style of  Platt Rogers Spencer that draws me in. Spencerian Script was popular in America from 1850 to 1925. Talk about “Ruffles and Flourishes” – this writing had it all!

I am a quilter and find the history of quilting to be a fascinating exploration. I can get lost for hours when looking through books that feature exquisitely made quilts from the 1800’s. Many of these works of art have elaborate inscriptions on the blocks. Often they are accompanied by lovely drawings – flowers, birds or houses. Carefully composed sentiments were of great importance and became an integral part of each block.

An example of an inked inscription on such a quilt –

Like the fragile inked names in this quilt block, the art of handwriting is disappearing too. What will happen to all the “well-appointed desks” and lovingly made writing instruments? Will future generations visit a museum and marvel at how written communications were handled in the 21st century? Think about that the next time you sign your own name – and perhaps add a little flourish to the letters – leave an impression – and Inscribe your work.

Pat

…looking for “a soft place to land.”  Ta Dah! Block #1 in the Beyond the Cherry Tree Quilt can be shared…

I like the way the reds and greens are working together – I tend to favor the cranberry to reds with a hint of brown and warm greens. But I noticed when looking at the photo, there probably could have been a better balance of the medium to darks.  I should have remembered that basic fact…I also chose to make the gold centers raised on this block rather than doing reverse applique, which I don’t mind. I just felt like doing it a little differently.

Relating to this block, while at a recent small stitching group, one of my friends had a pattern from an earlier Elly Sienkiewicz book – it was almost identical to our Block #1 – placement, leaves, buds and stems…the only difference was the shape of the “cherries.” Elly’s pattern had a more flower-like applique instead of the round circle. Knowing the BTCT quilt dates to about 1850 or so,  it is curious as to where Elly’s originated from…that’s a whole other area – being a quilt “detective!”

At any rate – on to preparing Block #2 for the BTCT quilt…which will, no doubt continue to be a slow process until after the Holiday sewing frenzy is over…

We took a long overdue road trip last Wednesday – ended up in Denmark – the Wisconsin town, not the country.

Kindred Spirits is a sweet little shop with a very friendly and bubbly staff.

This rustic willow tree was so appealing but had to stay put on display…

Then a stop for lunch in Green Bay and on to The Quilter’s Connection.

With the holidays approaching, I kept pretty close to my projected budget…

We have had an incredibly beautiful Fall here in the Northwoods. Spoiled and quickly forgetting in the past few weeks what a typical November could be like,  this past weekend, we were brought back to reality…

And in closing for now – about looking for “a soft place to land…” I always try to keep my blog upbeat and looking forward as much as possible. Many of you out there can relate to watching a beloved parent experience memory loss and a personality change. So it is with my Mom. We have seen a definite decline this past year…forgetfulness, repetition, uncharacteristic flare ups and an almost child-like behavior on occasion. Gone are those days when we could talk about anything and everything, with humor and understanding. I don’t know how to approach Dad and suggest the possibility of exploring medications, etc. Dealing with Mom, who becomes very upset and defensive, calls for patience – something I am learning the hard way. I am left with a sadness in my heart – of what use to be and is going slowly and what is yet to come.

That is one reason why quilting comes to be so much more than just “making something.” It soothes the soul & helps to put things into perspective as you quietly arrange colors.  Every stitch includes a thought, a promise or a prayer…and sometimes a little tear…so

Always take time to stitch…

Pat

Remembering…

“A veteran is someone, who at one point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount up to, and including, their life. That is beyond honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer remember that fact…”

(From a Vietnam veteran who went through flight school with my own husband – both served tours overseas)

Remember the day…

Pat

It has been another hectic week and I had hoped to post a photo of my first completed Beyond the Cherry Tree block – but you will have to put up with an “almost” done block. At least it is a start! I have been faithfully downloading patterns each month from the Sentimental Stitches site with promises to begin working on it. I can’t explain why this antique quilt keeps tugging at my stitching heart and hands. I so admire the more formal Baltimore Album style of appliqued quilts but those seem so far above my skill level and patience. The Beyond the Cherry Tree quilt has just the right touch of folk art whimsy with wreaths not quite round or a vase of flowers a little tipsy. And the fact that it is red and green speaks for itself. I finally ran out of excuses this month when the discovery was made that Sharon had organized a special blog (click on the special button on my lower right side bar)  for quilters who are doing this quilt. I sure don’t want to miss out on the fun either…so here I am – partially done – Block #1 – out of oh…how many? 25 total I think I read some where… I must be nuts.

In the meantime, the pressure is edging up on Christmas projects. Secret things are afoot in the sewing room…and the final row was sewn together tonight on a special gift…and then off it goes to the Long Arm Quilter.

Realizing the year is swiftly flying by and come January, 2011, major changes will take place in our (and probably for many of you) health insurance coverage, I decided to catch up on doctor appointments…a total of 7 were scheduled…mainly because after 30 some odd years, I changed physicians. It seemed like no one was listening at the old clinic. Apparently I was right as things are sure hopping now! The right hand received a cortisone shot which was a rather brief but uncomfortable experience. The very tiny lady doctor who administered it – complete with 4″ high heels, warned me before hand with a very unfeminine description – “it is a son-of-a-gun going in…” Oh so true…she said I did really well but I didn’t see a jar of lollipops nearby. Now looking forward to 6 weeks of hand therapy too. But if I can regain my grip and strength and find some relief, it will be time well spent.  There are just too many quilts to be made and garden season starts in 5 months or so…

That is about it for tonight…have been listening to the Packers waltz all around the Cowboys…oh yesssssssss….

Have a good week everyone and

Always take time to stitch…

Pat

Another busy week – of which two days were without power. We were hit by those very high winds and driving rains that made the national news. On an earlier blog,  I wrote of the measures that must be taken when living in the country and the power goes out…here we go again…bathtubs filled, generator on, stocking up on bottled water, hunting for flashlights, and on and on…

Soup heated on the old camp stove set up in the garage…

One of a number of cans brought back from Canada – Habitant Soup can sometimes be found in our area, but only the small size…and I know it is probably a mind thing, but somehow, the large cans from North of the Border just taste better! Maybe it is the French labeling!!! If we had been asked to declare how many cans of the Habitant or the amount of rocks we brought through Customs, we might still be sitting there…and we won’t talk about all that chocolate…

At any rate, once everything was set up and provisions made for an unknown length of time to be sans-power, my husband settled in with a book and I picked up my newly basted applique quilt to work on – Not feeling guilty at all either and enjoying the warm, cozy fire. We are two people who don’t usually sit down much during the day, so it took a little getting use to.

Some of you inquired as to what I accomplished at our Retreat last weekend. The stack of finished blocks (turned to the wrong side in the photo) will go into a Christmas gift, so can’t show or talk much about that at the moment. Let’s just say, it was a good feeling to complete the 30 blocks during the weekend – sewing the rows together will go quickly now.

Photos to follow down the road…(and that is correct, I do mostly try to avoid being in front of the camera…it is a way to deny thinning hair, losing height and seeing body parts no longer in their previous positions!!)

My Elizabeth’s Pride applique quilt also got basted…probably my least favorite step in the journey of making a quilt. Normally I would pin baste, but with the right hand problems now, old fashioned thread basting is called for. Bending over a low table is not my idea of great fun, and it took all afternoon to finish the process, but visiting with friends and walking by the snack laden counter area, nearby, helped to get the job done. I have begun by first quilting around the edges of each applique and then will do some accent quilting before background cross-hatching. A slow process for me and there will be no land speed records set, but eventually it will be officially a “quilt.”

And another day spent with people who love to applique – one of the stitching groups I belong to…

BJ with her appliqued top composed of Friendship blocks from our guild…always special, particularly since 2 of the members who contributed to this are no longer with us. A reminder to always sign your work – “When this you see, remember me…”

A lovely Fall appliqued quilt – finished! This also belongs to BJ…

Close up of the machine quilting – the swirling lines compliment the Fall leaves…

And Kathy’s 4 block red and green piece – a WIP…

Thought I would share a couple of photos with you – remembering that we have a travel trailer and dream of owning a new 5th wheel someday…after seeing this “motor home” which was parked at Nueske’s Meats in Wittenberg, Wisconsin, do you think we should reconsider?? The detail on this vehicle is so much fun – a true RV for the Northwoods, complete with mounted deer head. Hey, don’t laugh – it even sports a washing machine!  Although I think it may serve to store a different variety of “suds!” What else could a camper ask for??

That is about it for now…another week quickly gone…how did you spend your days? I can never imagine being bored…

“Far away – there in the sunshine, are my highest aspirations…

I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them and

Try to follow where they lead…”

(Louisa May Alcott)

Have a week filled with sunshine, dear friends…and

Always take time to stitch…

Pat

We arrived from all directions – and followed the sign…

Down a sun dappled Northwoods road…

To the site of our guild’s Annual Fall Retreat…cars packed with Berninas,  Pfaffs, Janome’s, Vikings, (not the Purple Kind – this is Wisconsin, afterall!) Featherweights – all makes and styles…

and projects packed in tubs and bags…

Treats to share…

And comfy clothes and cozy slippers…

We cut fabric, sewed and cut some more. basted and quilted and accomplished much…

Little wallhangings for a touch of Autumn…

A Quilt of Valor in progress…

One of the many Downy quilts being made across the country to soothe a child while in the hospital…

Baby quilts…

Embroidery with Dresden Plates – both miniature and large…(Crabapple Hill pattern)

A stack of completed blocks for a secret gift…

A charm quilt growing row by row…

And a tote bag…

A  quilt in progress with reproduction fabrics…

A friendly little spider…

Gradated rings in wool…

Using the Twister ruler – for a good tutorial visit Moda Lissa

Tablerunners took shape and quilting options discussed…

A fabric bowl being constructed…

We won’ t say who, but some ladies got side tracked on their way to the Retreat…stopped at an Estate sale and came away with this vintage beauty…

Note the long/short buttonhole stitching around each Dresden Plate and the embroidery in the center circle…

We visited and caught up on each others news…of families, recipes, how are ‘ya feeling? Shared recent photos of Baptisms and a 2 year old who had a great time with a tube of toothpaste… Heard of summer vacations and grinned at a hat made from socks purchased in Banff Provincial Park…

A whole weekend of sewing with good friends…each meal was prepared for us and no dishes to do!

We could have stayed all week…

to

Always take time to stitch…

Pat

Good morning all…a quick query as to what batt you prefer for hand quilting…keeping in mind a couple of things.

The quilt will be displayed on the wall and is only about 45 X 58. I have two batts on hand – Mountain Mist Light

Hobbs Heirloom Cotton

I have used both in the past but the Mountain Mist light was long ago – do you feel the batting holds well when the quilt is displayed on a wall – does it tend to sag? All my experience with Mountain Mist Light has been with quilts laid on a bed.

So what would you choose?

I don’t normally go with horoscopes, but today’s seemed appropriate…

“Stay lighthearted. Don’t worry if you’ve made the right choice.

Whatever you do, you’ll learn from it.

Just make sure you follow through and have some fun in the process.”

While I wait to hear your  response and comments, I am off to finish packing –

This weekend is Fall Retreat…good times!!!!!!!

Pat