Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Battle of Franklin Tennessee

This fall we were able to visit the Franklin, Tennessee Civil War Battlefield. November 30, 2014 was the 150th Anniversary of this battle, so the whole area was geared up for that event.  We were not able to be there in November, but it was a great time in September to take in all of the sights and tours they had to offer.  I would highly recommend visiting Franklin if you love CW history.  Just one thing to know.....this battlefield is not supported by the National Park Service.  The locals have done all of this themselves through the The Battle of Franklin Trust.  So there is a cost to touring each site, but we were so pleased with everyone of our tour guides.  They had a passion for their local history and they wanted to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with us, as visitors.

Just to warn you this is a longer post with lots of links to read and check out.....if you like CW history, trust me you don't want to miss these stories they are all wonderful.  You might want to bookmark it so you can return later when you have some time to take it ALL in!


Theodrick Tod Carter
Tod Carter

Tod Carter has the distinction of fighting on the land of his father a few feet from the house he lived in prior to the war and where he was mortally wounded.  His family heard about it during the night and went looking for him on the battlefield.  He was found and taken to his home where he died a few days later surrounded by his family.  He was probably the only one during the war that was able to be with his family and die in their care.  Here is his story.



The battle lines were right through this area......it was hand to hand conflict, in the most horrible ways that come to mind where you read these words.....it was worse!


The buildings are riddled from shelling.....






This shows the battle line through the Carter farm.




 Carter House where the family and neighbors were all huddled in the basement....




I just found another great story from the Battle of Franklin on one of my genealogy lists.  It is a story of a half civil war boot!  Got your curiosity???  It did mine and I had to check out this story.  I love it how these things come to me, when I am planning on a posting!!!!





This battle was so costly for the Confederate army, there were 4 generals bodies laid out in death on this porch in the aftermath.


There is a wonderful historical, fictional account based on the experiences of the family during this time by Robert Hicks, called The Widow of the South.  This house bears the blood soaked floor marks to this day in the upstairs bedrooms where they sawed off limbs and did surgeries for hours.



The largest privately owned confederate cemetery....where grave after grave are lined up.....many of them unknown.






Schofield marches his army up the main road, which is the highway into town now. 

At the end of these few hours over 9000 men were dead........

Another Dear Jane challenge for my Janiac followers....



I chose H-13 a super easy one for this time in December.

Writer's note the Dear Jane site is down at this time, I will link this block to the directions when the site is up and running again. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Writing on Your Quilt Or Quilt Label

For those of you following my Dear Jane story, you know I have recently finished my quilt.  This quilt deserves a label that is special!  This is what I ended up with....


One of the fabrics that I constantly look for are fabrics that suggest quilt label motifs... I tend to buy a repeat whenever I find them, so over the years I have come up with quite a collection.  I try and label my pieces after I finish them and even if I don't add a separate label to the back I will at least write on the back my information.  I personally think it is a great thing to do for your family and those that come behind you....people forget over time, they just do.  Your label tells a story and is a tangible piece of you.


These are the pens I use the most.....Sakura Micron Pigma size .05 in black and brown.  I also have other sizes and colors, but these are the ones I try first.  You can get them at Michael's, JoAnn's and Hobby Lobby too.


I open a new Word document or whatever word processing program you use.  I measure the inner part of the label so I know how much space I have.  I have my rulers turned on in Word so I can see the spacing.  I usually write up what I want to say and I also like to have my words centered, but you can change that if you wish....it is your label.  There are no right ways.  Once I have it written up, I highlight my text and start changing the fonts to find one that has the look I am going for.  I really like those that have a calligraphy look to them....but that is just me.  I collect fonts!  Ha!  Another collection.....shocking!  Here are some Script Fonts to get you started in your own font collection! 

 Once I have the font picked, then I highlight the text and start changing the font size.  Now this was a big label, so it took the whole sheet a paper for me to audition one size at a time.  I also mess with the bold text button, sometimes I use it and sometimes I don't.  This time I thought it looked better to choose bold.

If you are doing a normal size label, I would do one font size, then copy and paste my text again and alter the font size, I may do it a couple times, as I have found what I would pick on my computer screen isn't always the proper size after I print it out....so I always just print out several on one sheet and usually one of them is them is the perfect size.  
This is what I chose to do for my label after printing.  I use paint tape and fasten to my light box.  If you don't have access to one, use a window.  I did that for years.

Before I start tracing my label, I iron a piece of freezer paper on the back side of my fabric label.  This is freezer paper from the grocery story and you iron the shiny side to the back side of your label.  This give you a nice stable surface to write on. 

  Below I am showing you how I peel it off  "after I am done writing."


Then I tape the label fabric to my light box or to your window. Making sure you center the lettering to the frame of the label. 
 Just to note this label is huge and I don't normally do one this big, but I am going to make a pocket out of it when I add it to the back of my quilt. When I was going through my label fabrics, I came across this and decided to just use it, as I didn't know what else I would do with it.  Makes for an impressive label for a special quilt!!!!

What you are going to do is take your pigma pen, and trace the lettering right onto your label one letter at a time.  If you hand gets tired, stop and come back to it later....there is no hurry!  Now I don't fill in the fat parts of the letters as I trace.  I just trace the writing with one stroke and do all of that first.

Then I shut my tracing light off and take out the word document so I can look at each letter and I go back and go over the parts of each letter one at a time.... that need to be thickened up to give that hand lettered look.  I just find that easier to do and you can see the results below.....



This is what I ended it up with after shading each letter.....looks so professional.  And it is so easy, just take your time, use your computer to do all the centering and sizing, etc. and trace it!


I am making this label into a pocket for the back of my quilt.  Layer your label fabric right sides together with a light sew-in interfacing or you can use muslin.  Then I sewed around the wreath design in a free form following the print edge leave a small opening in the bottom of the design for turning.  



Then trim away the excess fabric leaving a 1/4" seam allowance and I also clipped the inner curves....you can barely see that below.


 Then I turned it right side out and pressed the edge nicely.  I also press over the lettering that I have traced really well.  I don't think you really need to do this, because the ink is permanent, but I feel better to set it with heat!


Then I pinned it to the back of my quilt leaving part of the top edge open so I could keep some papers and records to go with the quilt inside.  I didn't sewing the opening close, but did it as I attached the pocket label with a small blind stitch to the back of your quilt.


I hope this gives you courage to try this.  It really is easy and looks way more difficult than it is.







Monday, October 27, 2014

Ellis Family Sale



I love a good garage sale, tag sale, estate sale, auction, or thrift shop.......my only problem is I have a lot of treasures already. The Silver Fox and I were involved in helping to clean out several family member's homes a few years back and that brought my inventory around here to a new high!  Need I say more!  So lately I haven't done much thrift shopping.....but on Facebook several weeks back I got an announcement for a family/estate sale from one of my 2nd cousins.....very tempting because I knew her mother, Mary Lou, who is my first cousin once removed to be technical.  She LOVES garage sales and had bought for many years...... which makes for an awesome sale.

Just for fun, I thought I would share with you their wedding story, since it was so unique.  And for those of you who are not family.....trust me, you will love it just the same and wish you had a record like this for one of your loved ones!!!  Don & Mary Lou Wedding

Don & Mary Lou Ellis Wedding Picture

So off I went to Cedar Rapids with my Garmin.....can I just say I love that thing!  I would never have gone without it.  I am not that brave, but that crazy thing makes me brave!  I pulled up as I saw the cars parked and picked a place I could drive right into, because I don't parallel park either.  I went on Day 2, as I was busy the day before.  Which is OK, I knew it would have been crazy and it was!  And I am of the mindset, if I am to have something it will be there.....

My cousin, Judy had worked so hard to pull this off.  I can't describe the amount to things that were there.....humongous amounts & it didn't include the furniture because that had been sent off to an auction house....her aunts and brothers also pitched in and it took the whole tribe to handle this!  It was so good to sit and visit with them in between customers, which I would not have been able to do on the first day.  It was pretty nutty, not surprising!  I went through the house I think 3 times because there was so much to see and I was trying to be pretty selective......remember the lady that doesn't NEED anything!  But I must say it was sooo much fun cause I hadn't done this in a very long time! And throw a little cousin love on top of it.....a really delightful day!

Some of the Schmidt girl cousins......Linda, me & Judy


So this is what I brought home with me......a beautiful crochet lace table cloth.  I am a sucker for them, it had a few stains, but I washed it and it cleaned up beautifully!


My mother's family has a thing for Amana made furniture.....it is usually solid walnut or cherry. Although they did make some things in oak too, but mostly walnut. We got most of our furniture at Krauss's which is no longer in business....which makes me sad.  But we also got a few pieces from Schanz Furniture, if you want to check it out.  I don't know where this started, any of you cousins know?

 But several of us have pieces from there and they are beautiful, solid, heavy, well-made and timeless.  So I was looking and this piece I actually missed, but my cousin Gary thought I would like it and put it on my pile.....so glad he did....so sweet, small tray.....did I say I like trays too?



Now she is all decked out with a few Halloween and fall embellishments.....so very fun!


Then I ran across these wonderful milk glass vases, my daughter, Sally has a beautiful black hutch that my dad made for her and she is collecting milk glass to go in the top of it, so I sent her a picture of these two.....so these made a brief stop at my house before taking a trip to Chattanooga, where they live at her house now.

I also picked up a candle lamp, can't have too many of them either.  I turn it on most nights, great night light!


My heart did a little pitter-patter when I saw this Amana foot stool.....like foot stools too!  Imagine that!    And it lives very nicely with the Amana Lincoln rocker.  And the walnut quilt stand my dad made me many years ago.


 The patchwork pumpkin looks wonderful on it's little stool.....I never had a great place for it, because it is BIG!  I had no idea when I did this project how big it would be......now it has a spot to be and it looks wonderful!


I picked up this old Charles Denby cigar box and the geode too....I like old advertised and ephemera. This lives for now on my book case with some books that fit right inside!  Judy had a whole tote of geodes, I wished I would have gotten a few more of them after the fact.  Can you believe it?  I like pretty rocks too.  That was one of the first things I collected when I was a girl!  Got it all scrubbed and it looks beautiful!



I wished I could have taken you all along that like old things, it was so much fun.....thanks Judy for a great summer day outing!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ta Da Dear Jane Finish......finally

Well last week on Thursday, October 16......I pulled my bent needle through all the layers of my Dear Jane for the last time. In that moment, I received my PhD in quilting. I didn't go to any institution to receive it, but if you can execute this project and complete it, in my book we have earned it!  I must say I did it with a sigh of relief and the moment was rather anti-climatic.  Over the last couple months, I just wanted this project done and I was ready to move on to other things instead of spending about 2 hours every morning stitching on "Her."



I don't think these pictures do it justice.....as I don't have a place to photograph something this big.......it does look wonderful and the hand quilting added so much to it!  That is what kept me going on it, to see the transformation of each block......beautiful!


I have no idea how some of you have done the whole quilt several times over.....you're killing me!  I have no desire to do that at all.  Been there done that.....ready to do something else!  But kuddos to you that have the stamina to do that!

Right now she is in the quilt rack waiting for her label, which I think I will work on after posting this blog.
Note: This picture was taken before the whole top was quilted.

My goal was to have this quilt totally done sometime during the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, which meant having it done by April 9, 2015.  Civil War Ends .......eye witness accounts for your perusal.  I am thrilled to have met that accomplishment.  What I personally really love about this quilt, in being able to honor those in our families that fought, North or South, in this conflict.  Both the Silver Fox and I have ancestors that represented both sides.  I think I inked about 25 names.  Did you know that Iowa in the Civil War had the most men serve in proportion to the state's population than any other state?  A little trivia for you!  But the men from our family did not live in Iowa at the time of the civil war.

 The corner signature block......In the Spirit of Jane A. Stickle.

 Henry L. Leach was one of my husband's ancestors.  And see the star by his name, that tells me he is a grandfather, not an uncle or cousin.  G-5 Poof is your challenge for this week.....get to it!

 This is the only picture I have with me in it.  A little hard to do without friends to help and you can't see mine!  Robin and Karan are hiding to hold this baby up and it is a heavy quilt.....lots of pieces, means lots of seam allowances.  This was taken two weeks ago at a retreat I attended at the Grout museum.  So it was not quite done, but while I attended, I got my two blocks done each day......a lady on a mission!

Here we are in all our glory! 
 Done is better than perfect!

But I think she is just perfect, but I might be a little bit bias!  :)