Saturday, September 4, 2010

Summer activities—quilts, baby, interesting Berlin work sampler

I'm baaaack...Well, it's been a long time since I've written. I apologize. Just finished painting my dining room above the chair rail—red—to compliment my grandmother's oriental rug. I looks beautiful but was a pain to do because it needed several coats, and I am not a very good painter in the edging department. Used painter's tape but found out that it's very difficult to get it straight on both the chair rail and the crown moulding. Ended up repainting the moulding areas several times to get them looking decent. Have the room put back together at last. Have so much silver plate from wedding gifts—casseroles, serving platters etc., Lenox vases, candy dishes, after dinner drink glasses, tea sets, etc., etc. Wish there was a market for this stuff as I will never use them and would love to sell them.

In the dining room I have my maternal grandmother's rug and my paternal grandmother's set and chandelier—not necessarily "me" but I like to have family pieces as I love history. Am still working on what to do in the way of drapes--not to the floor but a fishtail swag on each. Haven't found the fabric I think would work. Below—I tried to pick out a paint color from the rug. 

We finally—after 2 years—sold my mom's cute house. Of course, we had 2 offers at the last minute! There was still some of her furniture there so I have been shuffling furniture first to my house to decide what I wanted and then to my daughter's dry cement floored crawl space. Decided to keep my paternal grandmother's dining room set as it is unique—Berkey & Gay made in Grand Rapids, MI, probably in the 1930's. Did decide to take over my mom and dad's cherry bedroom set but needed a bed for it. Found a cute one at a bargain price on ebay (The shipping cost more than the bed!) so I spent last weekend cleaning it up, covering the scratches, and applying several coats of tung oil. Then I found out that it was made for an XL twin (Could there be an "antique" bed that is an XL twin size?) so my husband had to cut down the wood side rails to make my existing mattress fit. When we loaded the box spring into it, the box spring fell to the floor! So he had to saw some slats for me too. Hate to have to involve my husband in my projects. Why is it always such a big deal? Cute bed though...Made the quilt several years ago—not one of my favorites but I practiced quilting it with a different quilt design in each square. Planning a different one that goes with the rug in the room. It just takes time.

Have also been busy quilting this summer. Made 2 disappearing 9-patch quilts—one for my neighbor's daughter's wedding shower and one for my sister-in-law who turned 60 in July. They were basically the same—very scrappy and made of homespun fabrics from my stash. I used up almost everything.

This is the back of one of the quilts. I used all my extra fabrics. It is pinned to my design wall that is covered in 2 shades of grey felt in my basement sewing room. When I had to buy more felt, of course, I couldn't get the "right" color any more. 

My neighbor has an embroidery sewing machine and she made a label for me. I sewed it on the quilt with invisible thread. Loved it so much that I bought a used basic Janome embroidery machine from someone on the Sew It's for Sale yahoo group. Have read the instructions but have not had time to play with it. My labels were always made with permanent pen since I am lazy with labels. Now I have no excuse but to make a great label for each quilt. 

I cut the binding on the bias to get that neat red and green and white diagonal look. 

My next quilt is the one I made for my oldest daughter and son-in-law. It is an oversized king quilt from fabrics that I had purchased several years ago. I found the pattern in one of my magazines. It turned out wilder than I had imagined! And more purple/magenta too! But it was fun to make and not difficult. I love scrappy quilts. Hate using the same fabric over and over again in the same pattern.

This is the back of the quilt. Again I used up all the fabric that I had left over. I only had to buy the large dark green fabric—and it was on sale at my local quilt shop. I think that making a pieced backing is more interesting than using the same fabric for the entire back of the quilt. 

My next news is the birth on July 19th of our first grandson. We have two granddaughters who are 9 and 12. They are the children of my oldest daughter. Our new grandson is the first and only child of my younger daughter. He was tiny weighing in at 6 pounds 14 ounces. Bill and I were with Linda and Rob for the labor but had to wait in the waiting room for the birth though we were able to see Ryan an hour or so later.
proud Grandpa Bill with Ryan at age 1 hour

Grandma Nancy a few weeks later

My 89 year old mother holding Ryan last week

Ryan at 6 weeks

Ah yes, samplers. Better talk about one in this blog. I purchased this sampler at least 8 years ago at a local auction. I would describe this sampler as Berlin work—1850 and later. I can't remember if it is dated. The stitching in the very center in the large cartouche where the date might have been is coming out. It is stitched on a needlepoint kind of canvas with wool thread. I wonder if it is southern because of the hunt scene and the reclining black people. Don't really know it's origins. Note the alphabet which snakes around the border and also the various border designs—truly a "sampler" of designs. It is a large  busy piece measuring approximately 18" x 21".

I think they're smoking!

Shepherd and sheep scene

Why are these monkeys included?

Do you suppose she picked out the year she made this? Nothing else seems this "worn."

Hunt scene—red coat.

Prairie Schooler ABC—
Been working steadily on my Prairie Schooler ABC piece—several hours most every night. Will take pics and include them in the next blog—soon. We've been watching The Sopranos all summer long and only have the last 2 episodes to go. We enjoyed it despite the violence—I just put my head down and stitch when the shooting begins!

Have to go now and eat lunch. Then I am on a deadline for making the Golden Retriever rescue group—As Good as Gold—bandannas to hand out at their adoption families picnic next Saturday. I probably will make about 200—pretty boring work but for a great cause. Talk soon. I promise. Nancy

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