Friday, June 20, 2008

Vintage CQ Pix Day 5 Final Pix

Showing the pictures of my vintage crazy quilt has sure been fun and enlightening for me. I hope you've enjoyed it too and will let others know. Todays post is the last, and I'm including shorts of miscellaneous motifs, fabrics and seam treatments that were either not shown before or may haveonly been partially photographed.

I'd love to see pictures of YOUR vintage CQ's, so if any of you have them and can share, please invite me!

So, I'm just going to post these pictures without further ado, but if you have any questions or comments, please contact me! Thanks, and enjoy!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Vintage CQ Pix - Day 4

I'm a bit late in getting these posted this evening. I've got a summer cold (yuk!) and I've spent more time horizontal (napping) than I realized! But on to the pictures.......

What crazy quilt would be complete without a spider and her web??? This one is missing some threads, but that's understandable since she's been spinning away for over 125 years!! And isn't that blue dotted silk interesting?

Below is another qppliqued leaf. It's just an area that I hadn't previously highlighted, plus it contains some lovely fabrics (love that beige brocade over the black fan-shaped patch!)

And, of course, more nice stitching. Below are more stitched chenille flowers. AND ISN'T THAT OMBRE FABRIC TO DIE FOR?!?!?

In the very upper left portion of the picture below, you can see a fabric flower. There is a matching one in the same square, but it has shattered badly. There are also the initials "VC", an embroidered playful pup, and a good view of some of the tabs along the right border. Some of the tabs have embroidered motifs on them, others just have stitches. Can you spot both the embroidered and the appliqued butterflies in this picture?

Finally, an overall shot is below. It doesn't show everything, because I have to find a way to hang it (no sleeve) to get a proper angle and complete picture. But it gives a good feel....

Tomorrow, I'll post a series of miscellaneous motifs that I haven't posted up to now. Everytime I study the quilt, I find more interesting things....... like the switchblade motif, the cat in the hat, and........ well, just check back!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Vintage Crazy Quilt Pix - Day 3

Today I'll be showing you some interesting motifs and things on this Vintage Crazy Quilt . Let's start with the Centennial Ribbon.
As you can see, it's not in the best of shape. However, it's the metallic fringe at the bottom that fascinates me. It is actually a separate trim in and of itself, with the header part of it stitched on with a purple herringbone stitch. The fringes are coiled.

On Monday I showed you the 1888 patch. This is the other dated patch - 1885. Presumably the quilt was made between those dates.

Above is some more incredible stitching and applique. This daisy motif is one of my very favorites.
This shot shows several motifs. The maker was apparently very fond of applique, as we've seen previously with the horse, leaves, palette and other items. In this picture we can see a hare and a crescent moon. We can also see an embroidered cat in the upper left and stitched flowers. And, of course, many more lovely seam treatments.

More symbols and traditional motifs. The initials in the friendship rings are F, L, T. There are other circles and other initials on different parts of the quilt; we'll see those as we go along. Then we have the traditional Masonic symbol of the square and compass. Perhaps the family had Masonic affiliations. The bug is very finely stitched. Usually bugs, in symbolic language, meant death or disease. Tomorrow we will see the spider and its web - probably THE most traditional crazy quilt motif. It's symbolism is generally interpreted as good luck and defense against disease (per the AQS appraiser of this quilt). So, the seamstress ran the gamut of symbols (and we haven't even talked about the meanings of the flowers!!).

More pictures to come tomorrow!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Vintage CQ - Day 2

First of all, thank you all for your nice comments. It's wonderful to see how enthusiastic we all are over our CQ heritage. This quilt is truly a lovely one, and I'm so thrilled to share it and hear how much it's being enjoyed by others. So, here we go.

This is a beaded piece on the quilt. I'm not sure what to make of it. Was it once a choker necklace? (It's about 9" from tip to tip of the horseshoe ends) Did she bead it just for a quilt decoration? Is it something else? If anybody has some thoughts about this, I'd love to hear them.
Here are some more chenille flowers - pansies this time - placed along the left edge.

This is a fan that is actually along the upper right border (I've photographed it upside down). The motifs throughout the quilt are very randomly placed and are oriented in different directions. These tabs, with alternating pointy and rounded edges, comprise the right border. There are a couple instances of cross-stitch work on this quilt, too. I wonder if she used some sort of waste canvas? Or just carefully cut away the woven base?

This is a photograph of the right half. I had the quilt down on the floor to photograph it, so it looks a bit wonky. Before the week is over I'll try to get it hung to get a full picture, without distortion.

The horse motif is appliqued. Rather nicely rendered, don't you think? You can also see some of the shattered silk pieces.

"The Vacant Chair." This embroidered piece was done in black thread. The lettering was painted, however. It's a rather crude drawing, but I get the feeling it came from another source - an ad? A book of designs? The style itself is so different than the rest of the quilt. Maybe it had some special significance to the quiltmaker. The rest of the photo is just fun for purposes of looking at the fabrics and stitching.

I just got the quilt out again as I prepared this post, and I see little things I've missed photographing. So, I'm going to "go back in" and capture some of these individual, smaller motifs for us to ponder over, too. As well, I think I want to play "Carole Samples" and catalog some of these stitch combinations! Probably nothing She hasn't seen, but interesting nonetheless!

So, here is one final post for today. I have NO IDEA what this is. It looks like a little pillow.It measures 3 1/2" square and is securely attached with stitching to the quilt. And it feels like there's a thin layer of cardboard or card stock at its base. Maybe it was covered in a fabric that has long since shattered away? Or a print that has totally faded?? The "tufting" is done with stitches. Any ideas on this one?

So, I'm off to photograph more. I hope you enjoyed the pictures today. We'll see you tomorrow!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Vintage Crazy Quilt Pix - Day 1

Last year I bought a vintage crazy quilt on Ebay. I believe I got a good deal - the quilt is beautiful although it does have several pieces of shattered silk. Most of us realize that this is an unfortunate fact due to the silver nitrates added to fancy dress silks during the Victorian Era to make the ladies' skirts rustle.

The quilt came with a full appraisal and provenance. It measures 49 1/2 x 62" and was made in 1885-1888 by the great grandmother of the gentleman I purchased it from. The backing is red cotton sateen and the front contains silk, brocade, damask, ribbons, velvet, beading, commemorative ribbons and ombre ribbons and cigar silks. There is no batting. It was hand pieced to a foundation fabric, and includes beading, applique and embroidery. The quilt has borders on two sides only; one side is embroidered tabs and the other is sane-pieced triangles.

The symbols that abound in this quilt are amazing. They include most designs associated with traditional crazy quilts. I have taken almost two dozen photographs of this quilt, and will share between 4-5 photos every day this week. I hope you'll enjoy this CQ Study with me! ! I'd love to hear some of your comments and feedback as we go along.

This is the center piece of the quilt. It is not symmetrical, but it is definitely the focal point. The bird sits on a leafy branch and is stitched in chenille threads. As you can see, the colors are still very vibrant and the stitching is in remarkable condition.
This section contains more chenille embroidery, but also an embroidered butterfly and flowers. Note some of the unusual fabrics and the variety of stitching on the seams.

The daisies on the black patch are very finely stitched. Can you spot the rat and the Victorian shoe? Below is one of the two dates embroidered into this quilt. The patch to the right looks like needlepoint. My guess is that the maker salvaged a portion of a print.

The final picture for today takes in the lower left portion of the quilt. You can see the pieced triangles that comprise the border along the left side. The palette motif was hand painted, although some of it has faded away. I thought that was pretty clever! The leaves are velveteen and appliqued on. The lower red patch has an embroidered owl. And I really like the effect of the stitching on the triangular patch to the right of the leaves.

More pictures tomorrow!!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Walk in the Garden

It hasn't rained here since Tuesday or Wednesday of last week, and no rain is in the extended forecast. I'm sure that I'll be wishing for rain before long, but right now after a looooong wet spring that seemed to never end, the warm sunshine is a refreshing change for people and gardens alike. So, I took the opportunity to snap some photos yesterday of some of our happy flowers....
Starting in the backyard along the back garden wall, we have a rose bush of an unusual lavender color. Don't remember the name and right now I'm too tired (from my extended morning walk and the heat) to go out an check the tag... My daughter loves this color and I promised I'd give her this bush next year for their new home. It's very lovely and fragrant........

Below is a scrub jay who's been hanging around lately. The scrub jay is native to this area and is related to the blue jay. The males always have a blue chest, but their heads are more brown. As they age, their heads get more blue, so you can see this is a more mature bird. And let me tell you, he is defintely the alpha male jay around here - he even squawks at my cats when they're IN the house looking out the window at him (watching "cat TV", LOL)

Here are some of my irises along the garden wall bed:
We bought the rhizomes about 3-4 years ago at the Iris Society's annual sale (can't wait to get more in August!). We got a lot of unusual hybrids and they seem to bloom at different times (which is partly due to their location in the garden). At any rate, several are already done blooming, some are blooming now, and a couple more are almost ready. Still more won't bloom this year because I divided them last year and passed them out to my neighbors.

This rose loves the south-facing perennial bed anchored by the apricot tree in our backyard. The buds are actually BLACK, and then they open to this deep crimson, velvety rose. I've never seen a rose as thick and plush as this tea rose. They dry black, too. Naturally, the picture does not do it justice.

Finally, we have another rose - a grandiflora, called Melody Parfume on the sideyard (not the only one there, but the only one I photographed this time around). Again, it's an unusual purple-pink (lacking more technical terms) and fragrant.
The old saying for perennials (and, I believe it holds for roses, too) is that the first year they Sleep, the second year they Creep, and the third year they Leap. This rose is 3 years old!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Peacock Block for Susan

Last week I finished up my portion of Susan's block for our Peacock Round Robin on Crazy Quilting International. I was the final person to work on the block, so the picture shows the completed block, which is now on its way back to Susan.
My contributions were the peacock in the upper left corner, several seams, and this feather motif which mimicked the printed fabric beneath. I used a vintage millinery "leaf" as the eye. Then, with clear thread, I stitched the rest of the feather using furry yarn (don't remember what it's called!). What do you think???
I hope Susan likes her block! I think it turned out wonderfully.

The Last Week ... A Blur

WHAT!?!? It's been a WEEK since I posted?!?!? What happened to the last 7 days???

Oh yeah..... I started work at the kids camp at Wheeler Farm.......

We counselors use nicknames, and I am Boomer. I'm old enough to be mother to every single one of the other counselors (all girls except two guys). They're all college students and cute, thin, bouncy (well, the guys are more, uh, "cool"). And they're all GREAT with the kids. But I kept up with all of them!!!

Those sweet kids (ages 6-12) sure have the knack of draining the energy out of you!! Let's just say that I can't play Dodgeball, Keepaway, sit cross-legged for 45 minutes during a reptile show, and talk with six kids at once LIKE I USED TO. LOL.
I was dead tired after Monday. Tuesday was short, so better. Wednesday was looking up and Thursday and Friday, well, I cruised.

And I can't wait to start again on Monday! I think maybe some of their youth rubbed off on me!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Purse Contest - I Won !!

Wooo-hooo!! I'm doing the Happy Dance!!. My purse entry "Deco Diva" won first place in the Crazy Quilting International 2008 Purse Competition. There were 23 people who signed up and 13 actual purses in the competition. Voting was by secret ballot for first (5 pts), second (3 pts) and third (1 pt) places. When points were totaled, the winners were announced. I'm so excited because there was stiff competition and some absolutely breathtaking purses!!

Here, then are some pictures of my winning entry:

Here is a close-up of the detail on the right side of the purse front. The lace is hand-dyed with potassium permanganate, the jeweled trim is "recovered" from a vintage dress, and the diva has a feather in her cap.
Below is a picture of a stumpwork purse on the upper left of the purse front.

The interior is lined in silk with a moire pocket (ran out of the silk, LOL). I fused some lightweight fleece to the back of the lining to add body and strength to the purse and strength for the magnetic snap closure. The back isn't very exciting. I made it purposefully simple. Again, the laces are hand-dyed. I think I'll probably sell this purse when I get my Etsy shop running.......

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Swift Water & CPR Training

Next week I start my summer job as a morning Kids Camp Counselor at Wheeler Historic Farm, the Salt Lake County-run working farm about a block from my house.

Today we had lessons conducted by the American Heart Association on First Aid & CPR, as well as learning to use an AED (defibrillator). I am officially certified!

Also, because of all the snow we had this winter and the rain this spring, our creeks and rivers are running at very high levels. So we had some gentlemen from the County conduct a Swift Water program for us. After the slide show, which gave us general infomation (hypothermia, water facts and the like), we were taken to specific hazard spots on the farm where there are low head dams or churning rapids. The picture shows one area that will be potentially accessible to the public (if they ignore the caution tape that's been strung up). This picture was taken over a month ago, and the water is faster and deeper and the creek much wider now. We learned proper rescue procedures. Although it was raining throughout our lesson, we all put on life jackets and practiced tossing out rope bags to the "victim" (a floating life jacket moving downstream). I tossed three times and each time was able to reach the victim. Don't know if I'd keep such a cool head in a real emergency, but I feel much better able to handle emergencies!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Black Jewels Block Finished

This 6" block is for Jo from our Crazy Quilting International (Yahoo) group. In our round robin, we each decorate an entire block pieced by Jo in NZ (every participant pieces six blocks and sends them around for embellishment). When she gets all six back, she'll have enough to make a wall hanging or whatever. I completed this block last night, and it is now winging its way to Debbie in Oregon.

The theme of this RR is Jewels on Black, and I have no trouble working with rich, bright jewel-toned colors. That's a Swarovski crystal near the center, and a vintage millinery leaf (blue) in the bottom left. I even added bullion stitches inside the wings of the silk ribbon butterflies. I'm proud that I tried several new things this time... I hope Jo enjoys it!

Poppies & Roses

Things are finally sprouting here in the garden. Everything is so much later than usual due to our long, cold winter and long, wet spring. But finally the poppies have popped! They're usually ahead of the irises, but not this year. This plant is in our east sideyard bed. To the left of the poppies you can see some spent irises, and to the right of it, some red roses just beginning their show. The blooming groundcover is creeping Jenny.

The roses to the left are in the backyard. I believe they are floribundas - we inherited them when we bought the house 5 years ago, so I'm not sure what their names are. I personally prefer grandifloras or tea roses, but I also have rose trees and mini (dwarf) roses. Any rose is a good rose! At any rate, they'll go mad with blossoms! They line the walkway down to the
basement's exterior door.

And finally, to the left, we have the grape arbor. As of two weeks ago, it was pretty "nakey", but the warmer weather has really helped it take off. In another month or two, you'll hardly be able to see the trellis. It provides us with shade on the patio (the other side of the trellis) in the afternoons. These get so laden with fruit that we have to support some of the lattice and branches. Last year one of the trellises broke so we had to replace it this spring. I'll probably plant some annuals in the front of the grapes for color.