Monday, August 13, 2018

Rescue the Perishing, Part 2

Some months past, I showed you a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt which I had mended, trying to bring it back to life.  Last fall, I believe.  In that post, I mentioned three other Flower Garden quilts I intended to mend rescue.  One of them was the quilt shown here.  And, as with just about every quilt ever made, there is a story.

My sister-in-law, Nancy, told me about a quilt top made by her aunt, probably in the 1930's.  She was a school teacher living away from home and to pass the nights......she began to piece this top.  I don't know why she didn't quilt it....but who hasn't pieced a quilt top that was destined to be kept in the closet, or wherever, and then was forgotten.  Well, Nancy wanted to see if it could be quilted for her mother's 90th birthday.  It was her Mom's sister who pieced the top long ago and Nancy thought it would mean a lot to her mother to actually have the quilt finished.  So, she told me this story, and as she told mind went directly to my vow to RESCUE THE PERISHING quilts.  So, of course, I said I'd give it my best shot.  The deadline was this July, just past.

Once I saw the quilt, I wondered if I had it in me to actually quilt this quilt.  It had issues.  Several large holes....many torn places, and it was quite thin.  Well, what are you going to do?  So, I told Nancy that I would just have to jump in and see what I could do.  Here, you see the quilt AFTER I had quilted it.....but had not repaired the holes.  I had decided that the mending could be done easier if I quilted it first, then unquilted where the holes were, patched, then re-quilted those areas.  The quilt had no real body to it, so I had decided to quilt, then patch.  Actually, that really helped, even though it meant more work.  Well, I like a challenge, right? 

Another issue was the lack of fabric to use in the mending and the binding.  So, I removed some fabric from all sides of the quilt, giving me many background hexagons and some extra hexagons to use in the mending.  I did have to use a couple of scraps I had of old prints.  At the time, it didn't matter what era they were the quilt had to be finished, so I just used what I had in some places.  There were plenty of pieces to use in the background mending.   

Another important issue was the binding.  I had no fabric to use for that, so I purchased some red fabric.  Naturally, it turned out to be way too bright, so I dyed it with Rit tan dye to tone it down a bit.  I think it turned out ok....but as you know, desperate people do desperate things, so there wasn't much else I saw to do. are some photos of the whole experience.  You will be able to see the holes, probably even see where patching was done.  But, I can tell you, you won't see it all.  Amazingly, I did a pretty good one could be more surprised than I am!  Just take a good look.......

I had decided to just quilt it the easiest way possible, since there wasn't a huge amount of time to get the quilt it was it took three months.   So, I just quilted lines on the diagonal of the quilt...then because sometimes that's not a good thing, warping and all, I decided to quilt a straight line down through all the 'flowers.'  It did seem to stabilize the quilt. 


 And, the patching....well, I'm basically a pretty good applique person....but piecing, while I do love it, it isn't my favorite.  So, to do the mending, I appliqued all the hexagons in place.  Just so you know.....if you ever do this...well, I'm sure you will do in the method you prefer to work in.  And, actually, I wasn't too sure about this whole process, so I just played it by ear, so to speak, and went my merry way. 


 And, yes, I did use the hated blue pen.  I've never hated them, having used them on every quilt I've ever made since they first came out.  You do have to launder the quilts though...and I've always done that.  No problem whatsoever with the pen. 

You will have to look the quilt over to see where mending was done.   I'm sure not going to tell you.
But, I will say, there is a lot of it.  And, I'm so proud of it....

Just keep looking.....

I did remember to take a few photos along the way.  Not near enough, but just to remind myself what was done.  


The background pieces were actually two different shades of a muslin type of fabric, but the years had not been kind to the quilt, so much discoloring took place.  You may notice in the finished quilt that a 'lightening' has taken place.  That's due to soaking in the washer overnight and rinsing twice.  I always wash my quilts in the washer....DO NOT AGITATE.  Just soak, then spin the water out, rinse, and air dry.  (I put a sheet on the floor, spread the quilt to block it, and if you don't have a ceiling fan, which I do, you can sit a fan near it to help it dry.)


Not only did the washing lighten up the quilt, but these few photos were taken outside under shade trees, so the quilt appears even lighter.   I had worried about washing this quilt, mostly because of it's age, but it didn't seem to make a difference.  I lucked out on that!

 So, what do you think?  I really thought this experience might not turn out so well, but am pleased that it did.  I would do it again...and intend to rescue the pieces that find their way to me and that interest me.  Do you remember a couple of years ago I rescued a 1924 beaded bag?  It's very gratifying.  But, in order to do it again, whatever the item is that might need rescuing is going to have to "speak to me."  They sometimes do, you know.

 So, here it is.  All done.  It's old.  It was showing it's age...and now I think it looks pretty good and is rejuvenated.   I'm pleased.  And, look at that binding.  It's kind of a miracle.  I like to think Nancy's aunt knows I finished her quilt.  Maybe she helped me along the way.  I like to think that WE rescued HER quilt!

 This is my sister, Debbie.  She just happened to show up the day I took the quilt out of the washer.  Imagine that timing!!!  And, I didn't know she was coming either.  So, here she is, out in Two Pines
Park behind my house.

 And, oh my!  I just had to take a photo of her and the quilt right between the two pines!!!!!  They are huge trees....

Thought a photo of the quilt on my bed would be a good idea.  Arranged in the spur of the moment as Deb helped me get a few extra photos.

A word about the quilting....I quilt one stitch at a time.  Always by hand.  I no longer have any idea how many people still do that, but I know I'll be doing it til the eyes go and the hands give out.
I always say every stitch is a prayer.  And, I'm always hoping I can last til I finish.   So far, so good!

These are some of the side pieces I  removed from the quilt in order to mend.  And, many hexagons too.  You can tell they have age on them....I think they will probably last long enough for me to use them in some way on a future project.  If I do....I'll show it to you.

 All tied up and ready to go.  You never know.

I did manage to take a few photos of the quilting in progress.  The quilting, to me, is very therapeutic. It's like meditation.  Time flies.  I have to work in shorter spans of time these days, as the hands suffer from arthritis, but you get up from the chair, piddle around the house doing those 'house things' and then come back to it ready to go again, sometimes not for a day or two, but always with the finishing in mind. 

 I do also think that quilting is one of those things you do for love.

 Don't you?
And, I'm here....hoping to rescue more lovely things as time goes by.

And, here is Phyllis, Nancy's mother.  We have never met.  She just turned 90 and she now has her sister's quilt.  I am so happy to have been able to do this for her....and for Nancy, and all the rest of the family.  

Here is Phyllis, along with her daughter, my sister-in-law, Nancy, my brother, Robert, and their kids, Tessa and Nick.
My brother's family lives in Garland, Texas, and Phyllis lives in West Virginia, the family home.


 And, the rest of the family lives in Morehead and Lexington, Kentucky, Charleston, South Carolina, Seattle, Washington, and New York, New York.  Isn't it great that all the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren made it to the party! 


And, Phyllis,
 please enjoy the quilt in good health, and with love and laughter. 

Here is something I found the other day...I loved it immediately:
"No textile too tattered,
No spirit too shattered,
No hope lost beyond
the reach of gentle mending."

 Krista Barmer

until next time
Bird Nest Cottage

Monday, July 30, 2018

A Birthday Visit to San Francisco

What a wonderful view of San Francisco!
  What a great place to begin our visit with my son to celebrate his 50th birthday.
The very first thing we did after leaving the airport was to visit Bernal Hill.  I had been there before, so I knew what the view was like...and it's the neighborhood my son lives, I felt Kelly had to see it first.  It's so beautiful!!!

And, here are Scott and Kelly....taking in the view.  
See, it's a beautiful view of the city

And, you can see different parts of the city as you go around the hill.  It was really windy that day and the walk up is steep, so I had to work hard to get there.  Worth it though.   Click on these to make them larger and you will see lots more.


 Boats in the feels like the world at your feet.

 Chilly too, while it was over 100 back home!  (And, the fog coming in...I'll talk more about that in another post.)

  Once again taking photos.  If I lived at his house, not too far below this hill...well, I'd never get a thing done because there is a great view from his living room window.  You'll see it.


 One of my favorite things about San Francisco is the FOG.  It's beautiful and it feels good too.
Kelly is going to get a good dose of it right here.

 Ok.  If you were on the street looking at the front of Scott's house....these places would be to the left.  As a matter of fact, I took this photo looking out the side window of his kitchen.  I love that big house with the blue door. The door looks really small, but it's not.  

 And these places are facing the back of his if you sit out there on his deck, this is what you see.  It's fascinating.  I don't know how they figure out what electric lines go where.  (That's probably the Old Navy Man talking to me.)

So, if you are on Scott's deck and look to the right....this would be two of his neighbors. 

 And, this is his house, so if you are on the deck....well this is your view!  I'm just nuts over it!

 Just had to throw this in....there are more succulents in SF than I have seen anywhere.  This one was small....but it's HUGE now.  It's at least a foot across!


 See it next to Scott.  HUGE! 
 And, here are my two kids.  I love seeing them talk like this as it doesn't happen very often these days.  Precious hours!!!!

 So, here is the view from Scott's living room.  You must click to see's a wonderful sight.
And, there is something going on morning, noon and night.  I'd really never get a thing done for looking out all the time!

 He, evidently, has grown used to the most people these days....looking at that phone.  (I do too much of it myself.)

 And, here he is with his on the computer.  I love listening to them chat about whatever they are looking up. 

Another photo of the living room.  A sunnier day.  

 And, here is his house.  Well, his and his three roommates.  It is a four bedroom house.  The living room, where you saw that gorgeous view is at the top, along with the kitchen.  Bedrooms, and bathrooms, on two levels along with the garage on the first floor.  They pay dearly for it and at this point in time are lucky to have it.  Rent in SF is way crazy, and I do mean WAY!

And, here we are having a lovely breakfast.  At a tiny old restaurant....has about eight tables. They serve a really good breakfast!!!  And, oh, what fun....breakfast with my two.  It's a privilege, for sure.
More coming soon about the trip and other things too!

until next time,
Bird Nest Cottage

A Bit of Heaven

A Bit of Heaven
An original designed wall quilt with my vision of heaven on earth.