Sunday, May 2, 2010


I have been busy this week visiting my mom every day. She was transferred to a wonderful local rehab hospital on Friday afternoon. They do rehab 2x a day vs. 1x at other places. She is walking with a walker to and from the rehab gym—amazing considering she is 89 and the surgery was not even a week ago. She has a lovely room with a beautiful view through a large window and it is bright and cheerful there.

One of the families in my neighborhood had their third daughter this week and we got to see her while on our morning walk on Friday. She was only 2 days old. You forget how tiny they are though she was 8 pounds. I am making a simple quilt for her and one small one for each of her sisters ages 3 and 5. Was at Walmart looking for doggie bandanna fabric and found 2 different Mary Englebrite (sp?) panels for fabric books. I am cutting them apart and adding sashing strips to make them into a quilt for each of the big sisters. One is the story of Little Red Riding Hood and the other is various nursery rhymes. They are about 36" x 45".

This one is for the 3 year old. My friend Ruth gave me the striped fabric and it is perfect!

This one below is for the kindergartner. I hope she will be able to read the story soon. I will cut the pages apart and add a small border like I did to the one above. Then I'll quilt it and bind it. Will baste the backings for the three quilts together so I only have to pin two ends to the leaders of my long-arm quilting machine. Then I can quilt one after the other and not pin each quilt—fast. Hope to work on them today. Am waiting for the garden to dry out a bit after last night's rain so I can plant some anenome (sp?) and coral bells that I dug up at my mom's house. 

This is the fabric I found for the baby. Might just make it a whole cloth quilt that is reversible. Don't think I want to add another fabric to the mix. Might bind it in a red. Thought they might be tired of pink for girls since she is the third girl. We forgot to ask her name on Friday morning when we saw her. It was my neighbor Donna, her schnauzer, and me. Bought all the fabric at Walmart on Friday. Hate to hear they're closing their fabric departments. They're great for projects like this. Cute fabric don't you think.


Finished several good books this week. The first was the new Sandra Dallas book Whiter Than Snow. It was good but not one of her better stories. The story takes place in the early 1900's and is about the people in a small mining town in Colorado.

The next was Secrets of Eden by Christopher Bohjalian. It is told in four parts by various characters in the story—a minister, the prosecuting attorney, a gal who writes books on angels (still can't figure out why this was introduced), and the daughter of the victims. It is quite good and you never know "who done it" til the very end. I understand Bohjalian also wrote one of Oprah's book club books.

The one I just finished is a short book called Moments with Baxter by Melissa Joseph. Baxter is a 45 pound part Chow part Golden Retriever dog aged 18 who is a therapy dog though he never had any training. The story is how Baxter gives lots of love to the patients and their families at a San Diego hospice. You will love this book. It is the story of about 30 or so patients and is loaded with heartwarming photos of Baxter interacting with the patients by just being himself. It is not maudlin but a wonderful book of how people and animals relate especially in times of trouble. Baxter looks like a teddy bear and the photos just make you smile.

I just heard from one of my readers that the tours are $200 for 6 people. Also the Plimoth Plantation jacket is now on view at Winterthur. Saw a TV show last week—Needle Arts with Shay Pendray—where they had a large segment on the jacket. If you don't know about it, google it and you will read an amazing story of how this jacket came to be.


Back to the Museum of Science and Industry sampler collection—

ILB 1775—
The next sampler in our tour is another German one. It is on 34 count linen and measures 10" x 42" in cross stitch only. This is the crawfish sampler and is designed in a similar manner as some of the previous German samplers. It was appraised in 1939 at $18, estimated at Sotheby's for 600-1000 pounds sterling and sold at auction for 2185 pounds. I had to cobble two photos together.

Love the lobster and the detailed peacock. 

Below is a photo of the reverse side. Note the bright colors!

CCB 1776—
This sampler was appraised at $15, estimated at Sotheby's for 400-600 pounds sterling and sold at auction for 920 pounds. It is also stitched with cross stitch only on 34 count linen and measures 10" x 41". Could the stitcher be the sister of ILB above? This sampler has a lovely large Adam and Eve with the Tree of Life, the shepherd and shepherdess with their sheep, a small lobster and a wonderful large yellow lion.

This is the reverse—again the brighter colors. Very neat stitching.

SES CFM 1780—
This sampler was appraised at $20, estimated at Sotheby's for 300-500 pounds sterling and sold at auction for 632 pounds in a group of 2 samplers. There are two large stains at the top of the sampler. It is also stitched with cross stitch only on 31 count linen and measures 9" x 46". At the top of the sampler there is an extra piece of linen measuring 5" that was added to increase the size. Again I had to paste together 2 photos.

Love the bird house. Justice is the lady in the blue dress with the scales.

From what I understand these samplers came from northern Germany which is Catholic—Jesus on the cross surrounded by various religious symbols. I once gave a talk on the samplers from the MSI and a gal told me afterward that she was very disappointed that I did not give the meaning of all the symbols on these samplers. I told her we would have been there for days and that I was no expert on sampler symbols! Can't please everyone...

SIS 1746—
This sampler was appraised at $20, estimated at Sotheby's for 400-600 pounds sterling and sold at auction for 920 pounds. It is stitched with cross stitch, satin, stem, buttonhole, chain, couching, French knots, some long arm cross, and a few eyelets on 31 count linen and measures 10" x 39". Threads are silk, cotton and some metallic. 

In this sampler the smaller band designs are at the top of the sampler rather than the bottom.

How about that Chinese "Adam and Eve?"

 The large white dog above fades from the design though you can see his collar. Is that a sea gull or a duck? Look at the little guy in the boat on the left. Wonder what the parrot means? Or do all the motifs have to have been stitched with meaning?

Isn't this magnificent? The couple in their pavilion.

I find it interesting that the German samplers sold for the most money at the Sotheby's auction. Probably it's because they are so pictorial.

I continue to work on my PS ABC and have included some photos of my progress so far. I like to set up a piece.  This one will have 9 letters across each of 3 rows. I am a little tight in the fabric department on the right side but those are 26" stretcher bars and I think I will have no trouble with framing it. Started with the brown 3371 and will do as much as I can before I start another color. Am trying to add other stitches that take up less time like slanted gobelin. This piece is over one thread on 28 count linen and I am using half cross/continental/basketweave stitches, NOT cross stitch. Half the time-half the thread-half the wall space-half the framing cost.

Anchor—Black Bird—Cow


Garden Honey Indian Corn

Next row down—Jack o' lantern—Kitty—

Doesn't seem like much now, but I have worked almost every night for at least 2 hours. Will be glad to get all those boxes done. Wanted to make sure I had enough space across and down before I filled in the rest of the motifs for each letter. Did baste with light grey thread around the dimensions for each letter area. Wanted no surprises. Will have to adjust some of the motifs as they are not all the same size. 

Better go now and work on those baby quilts. I also have a quilt to make for my brother's birthday on the 26th. It's the one with the Beatles fabric. Too much to do and not enough time! Be back in a few days. Don't know how long mom will be in rehab but I like to visit her as she has not been in the hospital since she had my brother 62 years ago! --Nancy  

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