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 carried.....you 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 here.....my 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 wool.....my guess is work clothes from 1920's.  Here is some of what I had to work with......




Here is the wool overcoat....it was not in good shape holes everywhere, but the color was good and it was not a heavy wool....so 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 Mildred.....so 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!!!




Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas To One & All 2014

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!!!


I have been working on this Santa for months and that doesn't count the many times over the years I have tried to do this project.  My knitting skills were not there to do the legs and arms with 7 stitches on 3 double pointed needles.  Yikes!!!  I had a friend get me started on one of them, but was able to do the rest of them myself.....not even sure how I was able to do that!

Then his little coat is done with two yarns called fair isle.....that was a first time for that as well.  But all in all, I learned a ton doing this project and he turned out pretty cute!  I need to find some "smalls" to fill his bag!

I have an open trunk with a tray in my living room, which I have set up with a little scene.....some vintage pieces and some new.

I was trying to take some pictures in the AV setting on my camera, where you focus for example on the church and it makes the background blur.  All I can say is epic fail!!!!  The pictures are lovely, just not the effect I was going for.

Quilts, dolls, Santa's & ornaments!

Lots of vintage toys under the tree, most came from my Grandma's.....the train was Jeff's as a boy.

The Nativity was my mother's and the figures are made out of chalk .....the little shed has straw glued on to the roof.  Love the Shiny Brite box in the background!

Toys from my Great-Grandma Rose Weaver....my dad remembers playing with them....

The Santa pop-up book came from Marian Spence's antique shop back in the day.  One of the many things I bought from her.


For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.


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.