Monday, June 6, 2016

Linen Rescue One

I washed the vintage linens I rescued this weekend and then put them in to soak with a washerful of Oxiclean.  I just let the washer fill on the soak cycle, turned it off, and then went in several times to let it agitate for a few seconds.  Then, around noon today, I put them through another wash cycle, but with no detergent or oxygen bleach.

If you decide to try something like this, it's important that they air dry, not dry in the dryer.
If they air dry and need to go back into an oxygen bleach solution, they can do that.  If they go into the dryer, the stains will set forever.

I'm thinking I may need to re-soak the pillow sham and the dresser scarf once I determine whether I can live with the very slight discoloration.  I think I would like to quilt both of them. It would be nice if a vintage quilted dresser scarf would motivate me to keep the top of the dresser clear.

The linens that are off-white or almost eggshell color fascinate me.  I wonder why the women of the mid-1950s to 60s decided to leave white and go to off white with that beige/gray embroidery.  I need to talk to some of them before we lose them.  One of the beige embroidered napkins looks like it had already met bleach some time in the past.  The rose-woven damask napkins are so old that their corners and hemstitching were done by hand.  They do make my heart sing!

Our little town's internet service got "backed up" as in "traffic jam" yesterday.  Some customers got re-routed; some of us just were disconnected.  I think we're back on now, but it was a throw back to old times for nearly 24 hours!  Twenty years ago all this internet connectivity was pretty much just a dream.  We've come a long way since then.  Twenty years ago I hadn't yet had the opportunity to crawl in ceilings and pull wire through a school building.  Now we are wireless.  Very nice progress!

Happy quiltmaking,

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Cedar Chests

I often feel sad that in other parts of the country people seem to have no trouble finding beautiful cast-off vintage linens.  Vintage linens are some of my favorite things.

This morning I walked into  a local thrift store and straight to a bag of vintage linens marked at $5.
You can bet I paid for those and left as quickly as I could.  This store almost never has any vintage linens, and I'm guessing most of these came from the same person or estate.

However, when I returned home and opened them, it was clear they had been stored in a cedar chest--for years.  They were once gorgeous, and I'm hoping they can become so once again. These were all once white.

The damage is especially notable around the edges and on folds, and where they had touched the cedar.

However, these are the two that take the cake!--Stored with food spills still on them!  I'm going to go take care of that right now!

The lessons these former owners will probably never learn is that cedar chests are moth prevention for woolens.  If something is any other fiber, including paper, an airtight cedar chest is a very, very bad idea! I wish I knew how to get that information out to more people!!

Happy quiltmaking.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Quilting Fail

Perhaps two square feet of quilting.  Didn't see or hear a thing out of the ordinary.  Didn't suspect until I rolled to another part of the quilt.  Probably three or four hours of unstitching.  So, no, I don't get to move on to the quilt that I really, really want to do!
As far as I can tell there is *no* fast way to un-stitch.

Here's to a better day tomorrow!

Happy quiltmaking and knitting,

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A Group Quilt

A couple months ago, or, maybe, several, one of the ladies in our Victory Prayer Quilts Group suggested we come to the meeting with charm packs or layer cakes, she'd bring, white, and we could each make a quilt from a pattern she would bring.  I think the pattern is from a Missouri Star tutorial.

I took an Eleanor Burns layer cake, thinking I'd put it with white to make another pattern.  The lady forgot the white.  Ruth brought quite a few charm packs and suggested we use some of those.  The lady also brought sets of strips she had already cut to be used in charm pack quilts.

When I got there and couldn't make the quilt top I had planned, Ruth told me to use some of her charm packs with the strips.  This quilt is the result.

Here's the quilt in last Sunday's sun in the church narthex.

From a different angle:

I love text prints, but almost never see any when I'm buying fabric.  This text was printed in multiple colors and recalled a Paris exhibition at the beginning of the 20th century (or end of the 19th).

It quilted beautifully.
 If our championship binding lady hadn't moved away a year ago, it could have been a four-person quilt.

Happy quiltmaking,

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Blogging Catch-Up and Quilts

I think this is the longest I've ever gone without blogging--because posts I write only in my head don't count!

School is out for a very short summer; we go back about July 25.

Here's the Sister Quilt that is much like the one in my last post, but different.  It's been done since late March probably, but I didn't get it photographed until I took it to church with me on Sunday.

Loaded with luscious quilting!

I finished another prayer quilt that I will post later.  I'm hoping to do this more regularly in the next few precious weeks.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Sisterly Quilts--The First One

I finally managed a bit of time with lovely fabric and two of my favorite machines.
This is what can happen to a photo when the cloudy, rainy light is horrible and one asks another quilter to hold the quilt. This was made with leftover 10-inch squares from a layer cake.

Much of the quilting was done with Glide Strawberry Lemonade; but I used a few more colors too.

What looks like muslin is a very low-volume white-on-off-white nature print.

I have five more pieced blocks left over for another prayer quilt.  Hence, this is Sister I and next will be Sister II.

Here's the sight I caught outside my window this windy afternoon.
I don't know what kind of birds these are, and I've never seen them around here before.  Clearly they are mates.  At first I thought they were a decoration my neighbor had put up on her wall; then their eyes and heads moved.  They were gorgeous enough to make anyone fall in love with the variations of beige.  They are all puffy to keep warm against the wind.  Then I think the sun's reflection on my camera when I moved scared them off.  They were so beautiful and made me feel blessed that I happened to look out the window at just the right time.  (I do wish I'd been able to get more and better pictures.)
edit:  A friend says these are ring-necked doves. They used to be birds that were kept in cages, but they escaped and are now breeding in the wild.

Happy quiltmaking...and knitting,

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Quilting Inspiration

The Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge is a little over 100 miles from where I live.
Allen W. Sanders took this amazing and inspiring photograph in the pre-dawn light.

I think these colors would be wonderful in a quilt!

There are plenty of other awe-inspiring photos on the Bosque del Apache's Facebook Site. The site features the works of many gifted nature photographers.
Just something to consider whether looking for quilting inspiration or an escape to nature

I did quilt a prayer quilt this weekend, but haven't yet taken a photo.  I'd like to get the binding on first--and binding is the part of a quilt that I struggle with.  The binding and quilt are both ready for me to get with it!

Edit: This photo of predawn in the bosque can be purchased in a variety of forms at the following link:

Happy quiltmaking and knitting,.....

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Chop, Chop, Softly!

I thought today might be another PJ Quilting day.  But I received a text from the College Girl encouraging me to go to the post office, so I had to get dressed.  I do see a lot of people wearing PJs at our post office and a few other places, but I just can't bring myself to do it.

However, I did spend most of the day quiltmaking.

The are blocks I began making at our last Victory Prayer Quilt sewing day and finished a few seams at a time over the last few weeks. This is the same piecework pattern I used in the Chop, Chop, Sew quilt. These soft colors created a very different looking quilt.

The fabrics began as squares left over from a layer cake from another quilt. I searched my stash for a quiet, almost-solid, off-white to use for the sashing and border.  The pink corner stones were another left over, and I plan to use the rest of that fabric for the binding.

The white-on-white print is barely visible in the photo; it too speaks softly.

I made this one smaller than the last top because I had only ten patches--so I have one left over for something; it might get pieced into the backing.

This project kept me busy all day, and I haven't yet cut the binding.  The top finished at 39.5 inches, a good size for a prayer quilt for someone to use for napping or reading. I do wish I were capable of cutting and piecing a whole lot faster!

We're having a beautiful spring-like day.  The last of the snow that has lived in my yard since before Christmas is finally melted.  However, we can be pretty sure this is Faux Spring and that we'll see more of winter.  We'll enjoy the sunshine while we can!

Happy quiltmaking,....

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Chop, Chop, Sew

I decided today should be a quilting and pajama day.
I worked on the fruits and vegetables.  I had planned to piece at least one block each day this week, but that did not happen.

My daughter suggested years ago that since I have a difficult time enjoying a lot of the colors that make more masculine quilts that I should buy fabric with fruits and vegetable because "all men like food."

Today I reached block 12, cut some sashing, cornerstones, and borders, and have a small quilt top finished.

I pieced it on my Necchi treadle.

 I do love the gentle "music" of a treadle sewing machine, although I was listening to Frank Ticheli music for concert band.

I couldn't find a print I liked for the sashing and the border, so I pulled a black solid from my stash.  It should provide a great space for fun quilting.....whenever I manage to get to it. I need to check at church and see if we have anything in our fabric supply that would work for backing.

My favorite blocks are the carrots and onions, which is interesting because I don't usually like those colors and I usually eat them only in soup.

This evening a woman in one of our local FB groups was looking for someone to make a quilt that would be "not too expensive" and she'd buy the material.  She'll probably find someone who will volunteer. I wouldn't. I know I have at least twelve hours in this top.  I'm certain she wouldn't be willing to pay even $10 per hour. I confess I don't understand the women who sell their quiltmaking services for less than minimum wage.

Happy quiltmaking and knitting,...

Monday, January 25, 2016

Finally Finished--and Gone!

The amount of quiltmaking I've managed over the last six months is absolutely mind-blowing--in its absence, not because I've accomplished much.

This critter languished for months before I got her bias binding attached:

 The straight borders were warped in the holding and by the camera.  They are straight in real life!
This was made from a fabric pack I picked up somewhere.  I added the border and setting fabrics.

 We made these nine-patches at a Victory Prayer Quilt Sewing morning many months ago.

It afforded the opportunity to play with some freshly designed quilting motifs.

Between my job and my vision, my energy just wafted away over the last several months.  Of course, I had no idea that my cataracts were siphoning so much energy.  A lot of that energy is now going into putting glasses on and taking them off, switching to a different pair, trying to remember where I last placed them; you get the idea, I'm sure. I ordered a new pair of progressive lenses this week, and I'm hoping their arrival will be like adding some very nice magic to my life!

Happy quiltmaking......
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