Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Yesteryear - Origin of Crazy Quilts

CQ Brooch by thatOldBlueHouse2

If you search Etsy for 'Crazy Quilting' or 'Crazy Quilt' you will find that there are still crafters that make these lovely creations, but not that many. Mostly the discipline has evolved into small projects, like the one above by since there is a lot of work that goes into the embroidery and piecing.

"What is crazy quilting?" you say. Ruth Finley, in her book OLD PATCHWORK QUILTS, says that the Crazy Quilt is the oldest pattern in American quilts, although there are no examples of crazy quilts known to be made before the 19th Century. Most quilts authorities believe that Crazy Quilting was started because the colonists had to patch bed covers so much that they eventually became hidden under irregular shapes of fabric salvaged from clothing. There was no fabric available, except what was already made into clothing and furniture/furnishing that the colonists brought with them. This made it necessary to use every scrap that they could for patching. Housing what it was then, cold and drafty, made it necessary to patch bed covers to keep out the cold. Over time, these covers took on their patchwork look as the number of patches increased.

Victorian Crazy Quilt from Rocky Mountain Quilts

During the industrial revolution, Crazy Quilts were replaced with machine made blankets, until the Victorian era , when fancy fabrics were used for dress making and every scrap was then used for a crazy quilt for every parlor. It became somewhat of a fad for every home of means to have theirs in the parlor. This was a richer era in the 1870's and 80's, with velvets, and fancy silks which seemed to beg for embellishing. Thus lovely embroidery stitches began to grace the patches. This fad seemed to last about 25 years. During the dust bowl years of the 1930's there seems to be some revival of the discipline for purely frugal purposes, like the sample below:

1930's CQ block with a utilitarian look (and probably practically purposed originally) offered for crafting by kittyscatnip

CQ then emerged again after the 1960's for those who love embroidery work. I, myself, have a love for embroidery and I am in the process of creating a wall hanging and a matching pillow. This will eventually hang over my couch with the pillow gracing my sitee. (Is this called "coming full circle"?!)

Note: Today is the last day to comment on my contest post:


Winner will be picked later today and announced tomorrow.

Friday, August 27, 2010

My Kindergarten Year

It's that time again, for (Etsy) Friday Finds, but I will save it for Saturday's post, since I need to do a blog carnival entry for my Etsybloggers team--Etsybloggers Rock! They have asked us to write about either Labor Day traditions or a kindergarten memory--of ours or of our children. I have so many children, that I didn't want to slight any one of them, so I chose to write my own memory--that's more fun anyway!

My kindergarten years were a Looooooooonnnnnnnnggggg time ago!!!! But I do have a few memories of that year. Things were different then! My mom walked me to school at first, she didn't drive back then. After that I walked the approximately three blocks down and two blocks over to home by myself. Actually, not entirely alone, with another classmate-Keith was is name. His house was a block short of mine. In those days, it was a lot safer for children to walk unattended, although, mom (or Keith's mother) would meet us half way sometimes.

But my most vivid memory of kindergarten was the monkey bars! I loved them. I was a willowy little kid that loved to run and jump and be active. I would run for the monkey bars at recess and climb to the top. There was a parallel bar attached, that I would throw one leg over then swing around and around to the filling of my little heart's desire. Unbeknown to me, my little panties were fully exposed to the surrounding juvenile world as my skirt flew with glee! I guess it bothered my teacher, because she called my mom and asked her to dress me in pants from now on! Anyway, after that, I remember swinging on the bar wearing a pare of pants UNDER my skirt! I really don't know if that was my mom's way of making a statement to the teacher, or if she was so old fashioned that she wasn't ready to put me in pants totally. (Sorry, I do not have a picture to post of when I was little, I must remember to ask my mom to send me some from the family album!)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

YESTERYEAR -- Old Time Quilting Bee

I recently was the happy recipient of some old quilt tops and a bunch of Quilter's Magazines from the 70's. I am still deciding what to do with all of my bounty! It reminds me of how quilting has changed over the years.

Today, for a few minutes, I was in a modern quilting shop, with loads of beautiful quilting fabrics, fat quarters, threads, books, classroom, and quilting room with long arm quilting machine that could be rented by the hour. Of course there was a plethora of wonderful bright modern quilts hanging on all the walls above the bolts of fabric. Quilting has become a business with it's block of the month clubs, seminars, and kits. One kit that I saw for a double size quilt was $115!!! That was just for the kit! Nevertheless, I loved the shop! I even signed up for some lessons on the long arm quilting machine!

Yesteryear quilting, as I am reminded by all the quilting magazines that the friend gave to me, was a different culture. There was a thing called a quilting bee. This old picture shows what the essence of a quilting bee was, only with a twist. This old picture was taken in Tennessee at the national conference of the American Crafts Council. It shows people gathering to work on a friendship quilt. They are hand quilting a white quilt conceived by long time master quilt teacher, Bets Ramsey. She put it together with appliqued craft symbols on one side and then quilted all the edges herself. She rolled it up and took it to the conference where she allowed some friends to hand draw designs in each of the center squares that she had laid out; then she let attendee quilters quilt it. It was a hit and by the end of the conference, people were actually standing in line to do some of the quilting (they can be seen in the background of the photo.)

'Yesteryear' will be an ongoing article title for my Tuesday blog post. I want to explore crafts and homemaking "the way they were" in the yesteryear. It should be fun! Join me every Tuesday!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Craft Season -- Contest

The holiday craft show season is coming upon us
all too soon!

I have been checking for some new venues to display my wares. I have purchase some display props for my jewelry line and am anxious to use them. Right now, several shows are planned, one in September, one in October and two or three in November. There is a possibility of one in December, but we will see.

What is your greatest tip for craft shows? Share with me in the comment section and become eligible for one of my hand painted angel gift bags. I will randomly choose a winner on August 31st. So, come on, participate and comment here!

Looking forward to all your comments!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Picks

My Friday Picks for today all have to do with wine--either in theme or the color !!!!

Dancing Wine Berry Earrings by stephaniegibson

Set of 4 Grape Wine charms by kattfiveCreations

Team Rocket Loose Eyeshadow by shirocosmetics

Catherdral Window Pillow - The Vineyards by warmnfuzzies

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Colombia River Gorge Falls

For the final day of our vacation, we spent the time on the Colombia Gorge "old road." It travels the original route up the gorge along all the different waterfalls --of which there are nearly 30--tumbling off the cliffs and ending up entering into the Columbia River. The road is a winding two lane road carved out of the side of the cliffs thru the thick forest. We first stopped at Wahkenna Falls and had our picnic lunch.

Our next stop was, one of my favorites, Horsetail Falls. It has a beautiful pool at the bottom, where many people were cooling themselves on the hot day. The falls' name is so obvious because it looks so much like a huge horse tail. My family posed for the photo shoot!

The last stop is the most famous of the falls, Multnomah Falls--a double falls, with an upper falls, and a lower falls. It has been the object of most post cards coming from Oregon back home to the relatives for years and years! Here we're introducing the falls to our family! What a fun day!

P.S. for more information about the Columbia River Gorge and it's attraction visit this website.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Visiting Portland Oregon

This last week, I was on vacation--of a sorts--visiting all the sites in our fair city of Portland Oregon, with my sisters-in-law. They went downtown to the famous Powell's Books - the city of books on Burnside - while I was at work. Then when I was off work, we went to the Portland Japanese Garden in Washington Park. It was a lovely day with plenty of shade for the hot summer day with the strolling pond garden and koi to watch; the tea house; the sand and stone garden; the Shoji Gallery; beautiful Japanese Maples; traditional pagoda's; and plenty of tranquil beauty.

Portland is a great place to visit! More about the area in Thursdays post!

Saturday, August 14, 2010


I have posted a challenge that may have been a little difficult for many (See Aug 5th entry) since it involves putting our dreams down in writing. There haven't been any takers, that I know of, for this little experiment of mine. To be honest, it is a little difficult for me! It forces me to expose my dreams and hopes to an audience mostly unknown to me. Exposure is not fun, and let's face it, most of us bloggers, are going along on our merry way, just having fun with our blogs and our lives. It's easier that way.

So . . . here goes.

I dream of a farm about 10-20 acres where we grow blueberries! I know, you thought I would be writing about my handmade items, my artistry dreams! Just wait, I will get to that---.

We would have two houses on this farm, one for me and my husband and one for my youngest daughter's family. We would have a barn, although not so much for animals, as for the equipment needed for the operation. It would have a shed also to house the retail sales to passers-by. Besides the fields of blueberries, it would also have a large vegetable garden, and a large flower garden, where my daughter and I (and my grandsons-while they are still little) would spend a lot of time. There would be gardening and canning, and cooking and lots of family time! The shed would be made over as a little country shop with all kinds of homemade and country items. All of my (and my daughter's) handmade items, would have a physical shop home. It would also house the u-pick operation in the lean-to outside.

I am a person who really does not like down time! I must be busy all the time! So, this dream of a farm to care for, large gardens with canning chores, and flowers to deliver to the nearby stores and, maybe even a farmers market, would keep me busy in the day time, with all of the evening hours to work on my creativity (not to mention the winter days when gardening was quiet)!

I could go on, with details but I will not. You get the picture.

OK . . .now, I still have that gift to give for anyone who participates. Be sure to come back and comment about your post to win! (details in August 5th post).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

On Vacation

Sorry folks, I'm on vacation this week! May post once, but not likely. See ya next week!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Friday Features on Saturday!

One day late! But still some awesome picks! Here are a few of my faves!!!

Lark in Wash by Poordogfarm on Etsy.

This one I love for the koi on the ceramic beads!

Handmade Turquoise, Ceramic and Shell Necklace by Storybeader on Etsy

And . . . . This little pair of earrings make me feel a little cooler when I think of a summer evening at the ice cream shoppe!

Ice Cream Sundae Earrings with a cherry on top by SunshineDaydreamz on Etsy.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Contest . . . Challenge . . . . See yesterday's post!

"A new leader has to be able to change an organization that is dreamless, soulless and visionless ... someone's got to make a wake up call." ~ Warren Bennis

What's your wake up call to yourself? Up for a challenge????

Thursday, August 5, 2010

What's Your Dream?

What's Your Dream? Challenge

Those of us who love to craft, like all the other people in the world, have dreams! It's always the question on any interview form: What do you dream about accomplishing? or Tell us your dreams for your business.

Dreams come in all forms. A little list of short term goals for your shop i.e. between now, thru Christmas and on into the New Year. Or a long term "someday" wish. The other day, I saw an interview where someone wanted to have her own show in a gallery. Another person wants to have her own studio. If you could express your dreams, how would you express them? Would you draw a picture of what you see in your thoughts? Would you get serious and write out a business plan? Is your craft business a means to a bigger dream? Or do you just push your dreams as far back in your mind as possible.

I like to make lists. Something practical that serves as a check list that guides me into the future. I'm more practical than flamboyant-- lists serve me well.

So, I decided to host a little challenge. Take a few days to think about your dreams. Write out some thoughts, and do a blog post about your dreams for your crafting business, or your family or whatever you dream about. I know, sometimes, we are afraid to put them tangibly on paper. It's a little scary! But, after you think about it, and gather your thoughts, do a blog post. Then, come back here to my blog, comment, tell me how it went and leave your link. Get all this done by August 14th and on Sunday August 15th I will list all of your posts in my blog. Also, I will be giving a surprise gift (in a reusable angel gift bag) for the most inspiring (to me:-) post!

Oh . . . . and tweeting, and facebook posts are appreciated to get the word out! Come back and comment about your tweets and FB posts, and I will use them if I need a tie-breaker!--I'm sure your finished products will all be wonderful!) I'll share mine on August 14th!
It should be fun to share our dreams! Happy dreaming!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Better by the (two) dozen!

Did I tell you I am a grandmother! My twenty-fourth grandchild arrived this weekend! That's right--#24. But when you have raised 10 kids, that's not too many! Little Ada Margaret arrived late Saturday night -- a home birth. She has a brother and sister. Brother, Roman 4 yrs, sang to her: "Happy Birthday" and brought flowers to mommy and to little Ada.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A few thoughts . . .

Bloggers have to make decisions from time to time, or their blog will stagnate. I've been thinking about changes to my blog for some time now. I've decided to share some of my recent thoughts and actions with you, my faithful readers . . .

I was a little uninspired about the blog and felt stuck in a rut! I thought about how to get myself inspired to write. I asked a few of my blogger friends, and they suggested that I have a theme for each day, that would help me keep rolling along. You know, like Wordless Wednesdays, Friday Features, etc. I still thinking that one through, although I do now participate in the Wordless Wednesdays--they're fun!

Cloud Reflections in Water - nature always inspires me!

I had fun this weekend, doing this blog revamp! I always wanted three columns but really wasn't comfortable messing with the html codes to get it. Once I had my son try to help me, but he didn't have enough time to figure it out either. So when Blogger introduced the new design options, I was thrilled! I'm not finished, yet, still working on my plan and excited about it!

P.S. Had a new grand baby last night! Ada Margaret arrived! Will try to show a picture soon!