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I'm glad you stopped by my blog. I am happy to share all the content with you and hope that you find something here that is helpful. However, everything here - text, photos, recipes, and so on - is my personal property and has my copyright on it. You may only copy and use any of it with my written permission. Ahh, but you already knew that, didn't you?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Gizmo 1, 2, 3

O.k. I put a scarf on him for St. Patrick's Day. He wasn't feeling it.  The bow was immediately a mess.

He is looking for an escape route.

Found it.
Maybe next time, I'll try a shamrock hat or something.  I know I am not the only one who subjects their animals to this sort of stuff.  It's just that most people won't admit it!
Well, onto other things.  I have been in a deep funk this winter.  I don't know why.  My energy has hit some pretty bad lows. I think spring weather will help, though.  
 
I have spent incalculable hours on a miniature quilt.  Here's where it began:
The center piece is from an 1806 panel designed by Jean-Baptiste Huet who designed for the famous Oberkamph textile manufacturer located approximately 15 miles from Versailles.  The fact that we stumbled across two small sections of a panel at an antique show is nothing short of a miracle.  My husband is the one who actually spotted a small corner of the fabric under a pile of pillow covers.  The vendor we bought it from had made two pillow covers out of them, but hadn't finished them yet.  She explained to us that "boat loads of antique French textiles" were coming in to America now.  Well, I would sure like to meet those boats at the dock!  I really don't think there is much Huet stuff floating around.  When we found it, we didn't know exactly what it was, we just knew it was wonderful.  There are many miniature quilts I want to make and a medallion style or British frame style was one of them, I just couldn't find a center medallion small enough to work. As soon as we looked at it, we both knew where it was headed.
Well, this is turning into a book instead of an entry.  I will post more about this quilt later.
Till next time....
Sheila
 
 
 


Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Couple of Things

 
Isn't this sewing machine cover cute and clever?  I think so.  A talented lady on Etsy made it and I was lucky to find her shop.  It is Beckys Sew and Stuff.  Please note that there is no bulge on the top - it is where my wooden spool holder poked the cover up.   

In this photo you can see that the sleeve for the fold up table really protects the bed of the machine.  Becky makes different covers and even bags for carrying the machines.  I don't know her personally, but really liked it, so thought I would share. 
Next up, I finally finished the miniature quilt for the April Auction at The National Quilt Museum.  It is in a cherry display case. This one is 7.5" x 8.625" and is of course all antique fabrics, hand pieced and hand quilted.  A bit of inspiration came from an article by Gerald Roy. Needless to say, I can't find the article now to give all the precise details, but he talked about the use of white as a color and not just a background.  I tried to accomplish that in this quilt.  My thought was that you would look at it and not really register white, but rather that it would all work together.  Don't think I am explaining that very well, but that was my hope. Anyway, here it is:
Excuse all the glare.  Am still trying to figure out this new camera.  I delivered it to the Museum yesterday and got to visit with the Yo-Yos. 
This is an earlier photo of Pat working on her Dear Jane.  What a lovely quilt.  No new photos because I didn't take my camera  - again.  Just can't get in the habit of hauling it around.  Anyway, it fun to see everyone at the museum again.
Well, that's it for now.
Till next time......
Sheila
 
 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Books

Above are books that I have been meaning to blog about for a long time.  They were all written by talented and scholarly women.  It is an honor to know them all.  Well, I don't really know Ann Hermes, but hope to meet her in person some day.  I say I "know" her because she helped me out on the quilt below by selling me some backing fabric.
On to the books!
World War I Quilts by Sue Reich, available here, is a lovely book.  Sue is a remarkable scholar and researcher.  We all reap the benefits of her work.  This book covers an era that is often overlooked by quilters, I think.  The photos are great:
Next up is quite a volume that Xenia Cord worked on with Kay & Lori Lee Triplett.  It covers an amazing Chintz quilt collection - The Poos Collection.   The  book is available here.  The quilt world is so fortunate to have Xenia Cord.  Her knowledge of quilts and fabrics boggles the mind.  The book is filled with "to die for" quilts and fabrics.
Last, but certainly not least is one of my favorite books to come along in awhile.  It is by Ann Hermes and is entitled Pennsylvania Patchwork Pillowcases.  It is available here.  I love this book.  Ann has taken the time and effort to really showcase the antique fabrics.  After all, it's always about the fabrics, isn't it? 
Here is a look at a page.  See the rectangle on the left side of the right page, about halfway up?
That is a piece of real fabric that is the same as some fabric shown in the bottom photo of a quilt section.  I just happened to have it in my fabric collection.  You may not be able to tell from the photo, but the colors of the fabric and the colors of it in the photo are perfect. 
Well, these book reviews won't win any awards, but just suffice to say that you won't regret owning any of the three.
Here is a photo of my constant companion Gizmo.
He likes to spend time in the studio with me.  He is laying on the first quilt I ever made.  Boy, is it ever awful!  There is a reason it is not shown better in the photo!  Some times it is fun to show it when I give lectures and talks.  I always say, "Hey you have to start somewhere!"
I'll leave you with that thought.
Till next time........
Sheila
 
 
 
 

Monday, December 1, 2014

December Calendar Page and Jill's Quilt

Happy December to everyone!  Can you believe Christmas is just around the corner?
We had a great Thanksgiving Day and hope you all did, too.
The doll quilt this month is one I made some time ago.  It is another quick and easy one.  There isn't much else to say about it.  There is much to day about a lot of other things, though.  The following photos are of a wonderful antique quilt than my friend Jill from the NW PA Quilters owns.  She purchased this quilt at an auction for a song.  The family that was having an estate auction had found this quilt under a mattress.  Yes, it is one of those stories!  It is very early - a guess would be circa 1830.  It is in remarkable condition.  I will let the photos speak for themselves.  Enjoy.







A big thank you to Jill for sharing this wonderful quilt.
Also, I would like to comment on your comments for the last blog post.  Thanks for taking the time to leave your opinions.  Susan, I am going to have to quote your line - "You can't save something that isn't there!"  Well, that sums it all up very succinctly.  Wendy - I'll be blogging about your new blog soon.  So glad you will be sharing your work in cyberland.  Karen - I need to catch up on your blog.  I'm sure you have been making a lot of wonderful quilts. Janet O. - looking forward to visiting your blog.
Till next time...........
Sheila

Monday, November 24, 2014

My Favorite Holiday...........


Hello everyone,
Turkey day is almost here.  It is my very favorite holiday, but I have to say that I have to keep reinventing my dishes as my diet continues to evolve.  So, it is a bit of a challenge, recipe-wise.  However, the idea of the holiday is what I like so much.  Just eating good food with the people you love.  It is a sweet and simple holiday.  I never see a Horn of Plenty or a cornucopia that I don't think of my mother who passed away in 1989.  She loved them.  She grew up during the Great Depression and once I asked her if she ever went hungry as a child.  She told me that she had, so it is obvious that a Horn of Plenty meant more to her than to anyone in my generation.  Give thanks that even in the midst of a bad economy, we have plenty to eat. 
Now that I have you all mellow, I thought I would throw in something a bit controversial.  Recently we went to the Arthur, Illinois area.  We thought we were going to two antique shows, but it turns out there were 6 and 1 the next day.  We just went for the day, so we missed what everyone assured us was the very best show - "the one that started it all" - on Sat.  Have to say that they don't really advertise all the shows very well.  Ahh, but next March it all happens again and we will be prepared for it then.  At one of the shows, I rounded a corner and my heart skipped a beat when I saw this:
Excuse the garage door in the background.  I have a new camera and it won't work with my old program for cropping, adding borders , etc.  Anyway, this doesn't look like much here, but here are some close ups:
This is the backing.  I would date this quilt circa 1830.  A lot of the front pieces were disappearing, but the backing is remarkably good.  Plus the alternate plain blocks on the front were in good condition:
Here is the controversial part:  I have already taken it apart.  Completely.  I have to wash the fabrics - very carefully, of course, but the quilt no longer exists.  I know some of you are gasping right now, but it looks better in the photos than the true condition.  There was a lot of deterioration.  In fact, it was exactly the way I like to find them - with lots of usable fabric, but not good enough to save as a quilt.  The quilting was not very nice, which was a bit of a surprise, but it made dismantling it much easier.  Here is the bottom line, I make miniature quilts out of antique fabrics only.  The fabric has to come from somewhere and there really aren't any bolts of c. 1830 fabric floating around, so I do what I do. Once, when a lady objected to this, another lady chimed in and said, "You do what quilters have always done - you recycle fabric.  And there you have it.
Till next time..........
Sheila  
 
 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

November Calendar Page

Hi all,
O.k.!  Where did October go? 
Above is a little quilt that I made in kit form for some of my friends one Christmas.  Since October just flew by, I thought maybe a little Christmas would be in order.  Thought I would post this, as it was so quick and easy to do that if you were of a mind to do it, you certainly could have one done by the holidays.  It is a 5" finished sawtooth star block with 2.75" borders.  The blocks are set together with no strips or anything.  It doesn't get much easier than this. 
Other news, my Sue Reich quilt is finished and in her hands.  I am glad to move on to other things.
Still have to quilt the miniature in my last post and then I will be ever so happy to work on a portfolio quilt.  I started it some time ago and am itching to get back to it.  First I am off to visit my cousin for a few days.  It will be good to see her and I am excited for my trip.  First, of course, I had to spend all day in the kitchen, cooking and preparing food to take.  A lot of trouble, but I am healthier for it. Plus, it makes me sort of a no trouble houseguest!
Well, that's it for now.  Hope you have a wonderful Halloween.
Till next time,
Sheila
 

Friday, October 10, 2014

A little of this and a little of that...

Hi to everyone,
Jill left a comment asking what I have been working on.  So, I thought I would show you.  By the way, Jill always leaves me a comment and I love hearing from her. She sent me photos of any amazing antique quilt she has and I want to blog about it soon.  Anyway, here goes:

A.  I knit a shawl with some thrift store yarn.  It is called a Mara Shawl and the pattern is by Amy Hendrix. Find the pattern at this website.  It is in other places as well. 
B.  You have to look hard to see the 2" bow tie block.  It is from a project that I did for Sue Reich.  I don't know if we are supposed to talk about it yet, so all I'll show is a block.  Have to say that it was a much larger scale than I am used to.
C.  A miniature quilt out of antique fabric for a fund raiser.  I have been inundated with requests this past year for items.  I have not made myself a portfolio quilt all year.  The one in this pic is not yet quilted. The white you see around the edges is batting.  The pieced border will be the finished edge. 
D. A new supply of knitted dishcloths was sorely needed around here.  Thrift store cotton yarns served the purpose here.  I used this pattern, except that for the red stripes I did a duplicate stitch instead of changing yarns.

I have to say that my knitting had been on hold for a while, because I have arthritis in my left hand and knitting bothers it quite a bit.  Then I came across these pain relieving patches at Walgreens and they seem to help quite a bit. 

Well that's about it for now. Till next time........
Sheila

Monday, September 29, 2014

October Calendar Page

Here is the doll quilt for October.  I bought this one a long time ago.  It is not in wonderful shape, and it is very odd because the date of the top fabrics and the backing fabrics vary so much. 
It finally occurred to me that I have neglected to tell you that you can right click on the calendar and print it out.  Hopefully, you all knew that!
Other news, we just got back from a week long trip in our camper.  We went to Bennett Springs, MO so that my husband could do some trout fishing.  The weather was beautiful.  It was great to have my own kitchen and bed.  Gizmo (my cat) is doing better with the traveling, so that is good.
Well, till next time.............
Sheila

Sunday, August 31, 2014

September Calendar Page

Hi to everyone out there in cyber space.
This month's doll quilt is a vintage 1930's one.  It is a sweet one, but not really remarkable in any way.  Probably done by a mother who took some time to make it, but didn't produce a masterpiece.  The back has two strips of blue fabrics - one on each long side - sewn to the plain muslin backing. I don't know if this was a design element or simply out of necessity.  I am thinking it was possibly a combo of both reasons.  She didn't have a large enough piece of muslin and decided to make it look nice by carefully adding the two perfectly straight strips. This was, after all, during the depression when everyone made- do.  I particularly like it when they "made-do" but made art at the  same time.  The binding is wide and curved, not mitered on the corners. The blocks are about 3.25" square, but vary a bit.  This quilt would be a snap to reproduce, although changing the unfinished size of the blocks to 3.5" square would probably be easier.
Well, that's it for today.
Till next time.........
Sheila

Thursday, July 31, 2014

August Calendar Page

Hello everyone!  Happy August, almost.
Here is a doll quilt that I purchased at an antique mall.  The person who has the booth likes to make things and loves antique fabric.  I do not know who she is.  But I do know that this doll quilt was recently made even though it has antique fabrics.  How do I know?  Well, I just do.  One thing to look for when trying to determine if it is truly an antique doll quilt is the binding.  This binding has the tell-tale "new look" to it and it tells you that this is a piece of an old quilt that someone has recycled into a doll quilt.  I personally think that the maker should put a tag  (or a label would be even better) saying that it is a recently made doll quilt from an antique quilt.  Another thing to watch for is the scale of the piecing - you can readily tell that this quilt just looks like it was saved from something larger.  This is all right with me and the price was all right for the piece, so I bought it.  But, as the Roman saying goes, "Let the buyer beware."
Other news from here.
We have a new toy.  Here it is:
 


Excuse the strange grid that is appearing on the photos.  My husband took the pics with his phone, emailed them to me, I ran them through a couple of programs and this is what came out.  We saw this on the showroom floor and were smitten.  We have talked of having a camper for years and when we found this one, we knew it was just right.  It is small - what else would a miniature quilt person have, but a miniature house on wheels. 
Here is the floor plan:
Here are some interior views:
The table collapses and can be stored in an area under the bed.  The couch is in a small slide out.  We bought a small ottoman that has storage inside and the padded top flips over to a tray.  In a camper you want multiple uses for one item and since I like to put my feet up at night, the ottoman was a lucky find at Tuesday Morning.
This is our bed with a quilt we bought  - we didn't like the bedspread that came with the camper.  You can see our mirrored closets on each side of the bed.  At the foot of the bed is a cat toy, if you are wondering what the peak is.  You can see how small the camper is by seeing the bed in relationship to the range.  On the left is a tiny piece of the couch showing. 
Above is the kitchen range and sink.  We bought a cutting board that fits on top of the range to add some counter space.  To the left of the board is the actual counter space and it is in front of the tiny entertainment center.  You can barely see the flat screen tv, but it is there and it pulls out and swivels around, which is very nice.  That way you can see it from bed or from the couch. We also have surround sound.  It can be directed over the bed or over the couch or even outside.
A better view of everything - before we removed all the stickers.
 
 


All the doors you see in the background above.
And finally:
  
 

A little Coleman grill that pulls out from a special compartment outside.  They thought of everything!
Well, that is our new baby, wish us well on our journeys.
Till next time......
Sheila