Friday, June 19, 2015

Graduation Quilt

My last project was completed about 3 weeks ago for our first grandson's HS graduation.  I can't speak for Poppo.....but Mommo had a hard time wrapping my brain around that and I am most likely still in denial.  There is something about the are never fully prepared for whatever it is and once that event has passed by.....the dominoes start falling because that means the rest are coming behind.  No matter what stage of life you are in.

He gave us our names....I had it all planned out....there were a lot of grandparents when he was needed names to keep everyone straight.  So I gave it some thought....I wanted cute, fun, I came up with Opa & Oma.....a German variation for Grandpa & Grandma.  We are both pretty much all German descent.....cute box, fun box, & unique box..... all checked.

I signed the cards that way, we referred to ourselves that way....BUT then the boy started talking and he didn't say Opa or Oma.  He flipped it around to say Poppo & there you go.....we have been Poppo & Mommo ever sense.  So much for planning ahead!

But the boxes are all still checked!
Where did the time go?????  

I think I can safely say he will be thrilled beyond measure that I am blogging about him....but I will try and restrain myself from being annoying and over the top gushing about the boy....but honestly....really....proud....and happy for him!!!

After I finished my dad's birthday quilt and then a quilt of valor quilt for our friend.....I had this graduation date now it is mid-March, graduation is the end of May and we were gone 1 week in April to TN.  And then unfortunately I always have to factor in my migraine days.....blick! 

 I needed some guidance from Mr. Gabe and needed to get cracking. I had not one thing cut and the clock is ticking.....  So once he gave me some colors and what he would like and what he didn't care for.  I settled on Easy Street by Bonnie Hunter.  I was sure I had taken some pictures of the patchwork cut out, because I cut patches forever..... off and on during a whole week.  I had piles of you think I can find those pictures? nothing!  Maybe I took those pictures in my dreams.

I had a couple weeks of sewing before our trip to Chattanooga, which was so timely.  My brief stop in Paducah yielded my backing and borders in the clearance at Hancock's.  Can you believe a batik 120" remnant for the back of an 100" x 100" quilt for $35?  I was thrilled!!!  Came home from the Tenneesee trip and sewed some more.  But finally got it finished......a lot of piecing.

I had to take it out for a little show and tell to my guild meeting.  This lighting doesn't show the gray lines in it.  Total scrap and I couldn't tell you how many fabrics....many!

 I made a pillowcase for him to store it in when it is not on his bed.

A close up of the quilting and some of the fabrics.

So much fun to present it to him!

Added a special label too......may it wrap you in our love, God's protection and guidance in the years ahead.  

Love you always!
Poppo & Mommo

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Abraham Lincoln.....150th Anniversary of His Death

In April we traveled to visit #4 daughter and family in Chattanooga and we were able to piggy-back a couple of other stops in between home and Tennessee. Those Civil War Anniversaries were winding down in April and one of the last ones was the death of A. Lincoln.  We spent some time in Springfield, IL on our way home and they were gearing up for "the funeral to end all funerals,"  the following weekend......their words not mine.

The Lincoln home is wonderful to visit, if you have not been there.  We have taken this in several times over the is always wonderful.

One of the more riveting stories related to Lincoln's death is the discovery of the only known photo of him lying in state that was discovered by a 14 year old boy in the 1950's.  Lincoln Casket Photo
Because I have a hankering for all things historical and seem to have a fondness for all things Lincoln too.  I get these ideas that come to about a silhouette of Abe to commemorate his life.  This is what I ended up with.....

 But like everything I work always evolves in layers before it is done!
Also the pictures are not my best, between the glare of the glass and the white ribbon....I wanted you to see all the details, because those are the fun things.

Abe Lincoln Pattern

I found a side profile of his face and traced it onto some counted cross stitch graph paper.....then I stitched it out on 18 count cross stitch fabric using color #3371 DMC floss (a brownish-black).  Note:  I did not add the wording under his face like I have shown on the pattern, I started it and did not like left it off.

 I had finished the cross stitching on the trip and when we decided to make a stop at about perfect timing!!!  I knew they would have some tourist type things that might work to finish this up and make it wonderful!

I was not wrong....I ended up with this pin.....would be a great finishing touch!

I love the signature on the white ribbon and I liked the pin too.
I didn't end up leaving it like I bought it, but that's OK....I loved the way it turned out.

Lincoln Library Gift Shop
This gift shop has awesome stuff.....they do a great job a merchandising!  And of course it is hooked to the Lincoln Library & Museum.....which is NOT to be missed.  We spent several hours there to see it all.  You need to take time to see all the special exhibits besides the 2 shows they run each day!  They are wonderful and leave you trying to figure out what was real and what was not????

 I found the frame at the local antique shop in her basement....where all the junky stuff is.....perfect price and perfect size!  Added the pin at the top and the signature ribbon on the bottom.  Done and ready to hang!

 It looks pretty nice next to this small civil war sampler quilt...I have added lots of pins from the Civil War sites we have visited.  A great place to use them and see them!

 This piece has lots of Civil War images in the fabrics....tried to make really good use of that.  This quilt is from Temecula Quilt Company and was freebie called the 12 Days of Christmas.  Very fun little quilt to do!

 In case you might want to see close-ups.....I always do!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Quilt of Valor.....Birthday Celebration

As you can tell recently.....not so good with the blog thing!  Part of my problem is to just start....I sit at my laptop and look at the screen and wait for the words to flow or stumble out or whatever.....I need to be more disciplined about this really!

My other excuse.....this will be lame for sure!  Since the first of the year I have been working on several gift pieces for some very special people and I could not write about the work I was doing or post photos either.....they were of a surprising nature, you see!  :)

So if you don't mind, I am going to back up a bit and get you and me, both caught up!

We are going back to February, after my dad's 80th birthday party in January. We have a trip to the SW looming.  And I have another project in my head to get started & is that for planning ahead....not so much!

Our friend, Bud, turned 90 in November and is a WWII veteran.....served in the Army and the Air Force.  He was involved in the Battle of Remagen bridge in Germany.  He has many stories to tell and we always enjoy hearing some of them when we are together.  They have been able to go back and visit that bridge several times.....I can't imagine, what that is like!

 I had this idea to make him a Quilt of Valor for his 90th birthday and to honor his service in WWII.  

It was so fun to attend a quilt day at the Grout Museum.....see the block pattern in the background.  I had my patches all cut & was ready to sew on Bud's quilt.  I got a very good start on it right until.....

My little sweetie of a machine, went out of time in the afternoon and I didn't have any tools with me to fix it.  I got a good start on this project, glad for that.  It was a good day out with my quilt friends and my Singer 221 got repaired by the Silver Fox  when I got it back home. 

I got the top finished several days later and then machine quilted it with a pantograph that had flags and stars......very nice!  Stars & Stripes Forever  Oh and added a label too.  It was already to be packed in my luggage and fly away to AZ.

The moment of reveal....reading the label.

I think we blew them away with this gift.  I really wasn't sure if this would be something he would like.  But I could tell right away this was so meaningful to him and I was so glad I had gone with my instinct and done this for him.  I mean, really what do you give to someone who is 90? A new tennis racket.....OBTW, did I mention he plays tennis like 3 days a week?  I am lucky to walk to the end of the drive and back once a day.....but let's not go there.

 For you quilters out there, can you find the block?  You might need to go back and look at the drawing by my sewing machine above.  The blocks look like NOTHING by themselves!  Pinwheels Plus is the name of the pattern and it is found in the May/June 2012 issue of  Fons & Porter Love of Quilting.  

Thanks, Bud for your service to our country, for your love, friendship, hospitality, and spiritual mentoring over many years.  We love you & Nj dearly!!!

And for you quilters out there.....I will show you where the block is......that is the best I can do since this is copyrighted material.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Appomattox......150 years Ago

On this day, at this house in Virginia......150 years ago the Civil War officially ended.  This is the McLean House.  Did you realize the war started in this man's front yard in 1861 and ended in his parlor four years later?  Wilmer McLean

I wished we could be at Appomattox today and celebrate this dramatic time in history.....

In honor of that I took a few pictures of a CW housewife I made from a pattern I purchased when we attended the Chickamauga reenactment 2 years ago.

A housewife is a sewing kit that many soldier's carried.  Many were made by mother's or sister's of a soldier so they could do basic mending of their clothes.  As we have traveled to various CW exhibits over the years, they often include at least one example.

This one happens to be a reproduction of a Confederate housewife made by a sister.  

It included a crocheted strawberry that was probably stuffed with wool to sharpen your needle.  And several layers of wool to store a few pins and needles in them to keep them from rusting.

Now you will notice, since I am a northern girl, that I took some creative license and made it for a northern soldier.  So this fabric, which make a little pocket, has the portrait of A. Lincoln on it.

I also changed the flag slightly to reflect the North rather than the South....the original said....CSA in beads.  I made a few large pins with my initials on them and included a star charm.  The silk rose is luscious and was on the original.

That little heart chain you see is also something I just added.  About the time I was making this, I ran across a little bag of these pearl hearts.  They were made to hold embroidery floss. So I crocheted a little design around a cabone ring to hold them all together and thought it fit in quite nicely with this housewife.

Here I am all rolled up....which is the way it would have been will have to notice all the fabrics I used.....everyone of them!  I had such fun picking them out.

And here is the man that this housewife was made for.  He died at the battle of Kennesaw Mountain in GA.  We have plans to visit there in a few weeks.  I think I will carry my housewife with me in honor of him.  It is so wonderful to be able to research people like this and come up with some history to attach to these relics.

I love making examples of vintage finds that I can never afford, but gives me a chance to hold some history in my hands and use them in my everyday life.  If you would like to make a piece of history for yourself..... you will find the pattern here.....Confederate Housewife.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Weaver Family Quilt

There was no break after Christmas around dad's 80th birthday was the 23rd of January and I knew we wanted to celebrate that day!  I had several projects in mind and really wished I would have started working on it earlier, but that didn't happen.....

The story started last summer when the Silver Fox and I were able to go through a few things that came from the Weaver family home attic. The Weaver's are my dad's maternal side.  Part of what was there was a pile of old clothing, that would have been worn by my Great-grandmother, Rose Weaver or her daughter (my grandma) Mildred Kullmer, or even some of her brothers.  Some of it was not in the greatest condition, but I brought home most of it and into the wash it went.  Sink or swim time!  I had vintage quilts spinning around in my head.  There were shirtings, chambray, cadet blue prints & some guess is work clothes from 1920's.  Here is some of what I had to work with......

Here is the wool was not in good shape holes everywhere, but the color was good and it was not a heavy had possibilities.

After spending a little time on Electric Quilt.  I came up with this simple design called Weaver Farm Memories. (If you have EQ7 I have included my project file to share.)  I wanted the piecing to be fairly simple.....most of the fabric is worn and thin.  I did spray starch it heavily and that really helped to handle the piecing.  I also used the walking foot when I was piecing with the wool....that seemed to want to creep on me.  Some of the fabrics have spots and a few tiny holes....just adds to the history and charm of it all.

Then I had another idea.  I have had my Grandma Mildred's wedding dress for a long time.  She gave it to me because it was falling apart and I had interfaced it to basically hold it together.  So I got that out and hand tacked it to the back of the quilt.  I have had the dress in a box and thought this would be a better idea, at least to use it, be able to see it and include the story.  It is tucked and basted down just enough to hold it in place on the back of the quilt.

I had this small piece of toweling that had been hand stenciled by either Great-Grandma Rose or Grandma that became my label with the quilt info included.

Then I made a fabric dress tag.....printed out on fabric the picture of Keith & Mildred Kullmer's wedding and cut out a tag shape from that after interfacing it and then backed it with a piece of muslin that was also interfaced after writing the information about her wedding dress on the back side of the tag.  I basted around the outside edge to hold it together, then went around the outside edge of the tag twice to make a nice full edge.  Also finished a tiny circle to put the ribbon through.

I did ink the wedding dress info by hand, but it was a fairly small font....made it hard to do.  If I was repeating that, I would have printed it directly on the fabric.  The story my grandparents told me, was the day of the wedding they drove to Black's Department store in downtown Waterloo and bought this dress for about $25-30.

The lace is still beautiful!

I chose to machine quilt it with a free motion baptist fan design.

We had the party at my brother's house and I brought some things to display.
The black wool blanket came from Czechoslovakia  when the Fisher Family came to this country 1880-1890.  They used in when they traveled in the sleigh was the story Grandma told me.  The little bubble suit was made for my dad.

I made a quilt roll with the backside and the dress toward the inside.  And I used the belt from the wool coat to make a strap.

I like to do Shutterfly books for special occasions.  I used Dad's H.S. graduation picture for the cover on the left. 

Close up of the bubble suit.....see the little kitty faces embroidered on it?  Sweet & tiny knitted mittens too!  The story goes that my dad was born on his mother's birthday and there was a snow storm going and I don't believe the Dr. arrived till after he was born.  It was so cold, they wrapped him up and laid him on the open stove door to keep him warm.  He was born at the Weaver family farm.

My brother served BBQ brisket and pork loin and all the fixin's.  It was all so yummy!  And we topped the menu off with cupcakes from Scratch.  Too die for!!!