Welcome

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, August 28, 2011

Who are these people???????

As mentioned earlier, I am moving.  By this time next week, my husband and I hope to be in the same spot at the same time.  I have been wading through a mountain of stuff and came across the above photo.  It was in a box of "family papers, etc."  There is no clue as to who all those people are.  If you click on the photo it will enlarge and you can see why I sincerely hope I am not related to the seated lady in the dark clothes! She doesn't appear to be very happy.  Although many things have been put in the trash or donated to thrift stores, this little gem will remain in the family papers box.  Why?  I don't know.  Photos are sort of like old quilts, you just hate to pitch them.
About the move - we will be living in an apartment in Burton, Ohio which is east of Cleveland - in a very small apartment - 600 square feet.  I am currently in our small home - 900 square feet- but I have a separate quilt studio which is 650 square feet.  The studio is actually its own apartment, so there is a kitchen that is used for canning and  where we did big chores like making sausage, etc.  So I only use part of it for a quilt studio.  Sigh.  We will miss the arrangement. In the spirit of getting into the move, I have been reading minimalist living blogs.  There is a lot to be said for "paring down" but it is hard for a crafts person and someone with the soul of a collector.  Right now I am weary of the sorting and packing, but I so look forward to being there.  I hope to post future photos showing how I store my craft and sewing items in a very small space.  We will be storing stuff in our current garage and won't have to worry about it until this home sells, which will probably be a very long time, judging by the economy these days.  So keep a good thought for me, wish me well, and look for a new posting in a week or so.
Till I post from Ohio...........
Sheila
PS.  I am keeping up with the Brackman blocks, I just haven't posted them yet.  So, a long post will be coming one of these days.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Farmer's Wife Quilt and Templates


Before miniature quilts and hand piecing became my focus, I was an avid machine piecer and huge fan of Marti Michell's Perfect Patchwork Templates.  However, attempts at getting quilt students to use them was nearly always a failure.  This remains a mystery to me.  They are so easy to use, so precise, and so clear to me, I don't understand the resistance to them.  Be that as it may, while taking a break from packing, sorting and cleaning for the move at the end of this month, I checked in on M.M.'s website and learned that she will be giving out conversion charts for the blocks in The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt book (with permission from everyone involved), but you will need to sign up for her emails by the end of this month.  So, if you are interested in doing this, click here and read about it here.  I have no financial gain from any of this, just thought I would pass the info along.  This project sounds like it could be fun.
Till next time..........
Sheila

Monday, August 8, 2011

Antique Yardage and Miniatures and Q & A

Hi to everyone,
If you say "Miniature Quilts" to someone, an image of using tiny scraps of fabrics comes to their mind.  They think my stash must be tiny because my quilts are.  It is true that many pieces of fabric too small for other uses will be perfect for use in a miniature.  But, you still have to have a backing and a binding.  I have pieced small strips of fabric together for bindings, but only when absolutely necessary.  The finished product is so much nicer without a multitude of seams. Also, it is one of my goals to have an interesting backing on every quilt.  So, where do I find yardage in antique fabrics?  Mostly in quilts and tops that have a lot of "issues."  I have never come across a bolt of pristine fabric from the 19th century.  Some people have, but not me.  I take my fabric where I find it.  The above photo is from a flea market find several years ago.  All the fabric - and a little more, actually - came from a quilt in a quilt in a quilt.  That is not a typo.  It was a quilt that had two other quilts inside it.  You could have knocked me out.  The $25 price tag turned into a huge bargain.  I have had other quilts in a quilt.  Well, to be precise a quilt in a comforter, as usually the new covering is just tacked.  But this one actually had every layer quilted.  Some of the fabrics are very worn and some aren't.  And, yes, I unquilted them all.  They were not heavily quilted, nor were any of them nicely done.  As with all things "quilty," the decision to take a quilt apart is controversial.  Some quilters have explained to me - at great length - that I should never, ever, do that.  Other quilters say, well, recycling is as old as the art of quilting.  Everyone should be their own judge. I make miniature quilts out of antique fabrics.  That's what I do and who I am and I have to have fabric to do it.

Questions and Answers:
A couple of questions have come from readers and here are some answers:
Answer 1:  I do use spray starch on antique fabrics.  Makes them much easier to handle.  I don't know the long term effect of doing that.
Answer 2:  I did get the written appraisal from Gerald Roy.  My husband and I were astonished at the value he placed on all the quilts.  We are thrilled.  I read an article by Mr. Roy once and he said that people who brought antique quilts in to be appraised were often surprised to hear that a doll or crib quilt was far more valuable than a similar version full scale quilt.  It has to do with rarity and desirability. 
Till next time....
Sheila

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hey, What's this have to do with quilting???

This has absolutely nothing to do with quilting.  Change is afoot.  Or apaw.  My husband has been in the Cleveland area for several months.  I will be moving up there - with our two cats - at the end of this month.  We will be living in an apartment.  Gizmo, shown above, is our "busy" cat.  He hunts and spends lots of time outside.  He comes in at night.  I know, it is backwards to what most people do.  But, it is what we do to protect him from coyotes and such.  Our other cat is very fat and very lazy and likes to stay in 99% of the time and look out the window.  Not so with The Giz. The apartment complex has land to take him out, but he is a country cat and not a city cat and will have to have supervision.  If anyone out there in blog land has suggestions on how to supervise a cat, Please let me know!  He will have to be in a harness with a leash and me in tow.  Just shoot me.  It is going to be an experience.  However, he doesn't seem to mind the harness and that's a start.  The harness may not be adjusted correctly and I won't tell you how long it took me to figure out which way it went, but as I said, it's a start.  The leash I bought matches the harness, but apparently it is the wrong size because the toggle won't go around both D - rings.  Plus it is a dog harness and I'm not sure if I should have tried harder and found one for a cat. Any helpful comments will be greatly appreciated. Sigh. 
Sheila