Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Works in Progress...

Some finishes and some starts.

Two Mani-Pedi pouches finished.
 They are on their way to two special young ladies.
 Keeping everything tidy.
 A zipper pocket for all the little things to keep nails in tip top condition.

365 Challenge.
 Some of the light blocks.

The Splendid Sampler.
 The Candy Block.

Two quilts which needs to sewn, in the short term.
Vintage Moments.
  This quilt is finally basted, ready for quilting.

While walking along the stream, we saw some of the Salmon which have come up stream to spawn.
 Kids had a PD day last week, they tried to catch these big guys, but the fish was not interested.
 The Blue Heron is very good at fishing.  Once he takes his portion, he leaves the rest for others to have their feast.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

A box of Crayons.

Recently I had a chance to show some ladies how to do a Bargello quilt.  Two colour ways was decided upon for the kits.  Green and Purple.  This is the Show and Tell of their first attempt!
 Purple, with rich chocolates and creams.
Green, yellow with a touch of grey and a pop of red.
One  changed  two of the original colours.  This is the result.
The two quilts, side by side.  One with the borders sewn on and the other with the first border.
Amazing how a small change,  can have a dramatic effect on the outcome!

AccuQuilt 2016 Quilt Block Design Contest, my block made it.

check it out, here.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Quilt along, 365 Challenge.

 365 Challenge
 The center block is finished.
 Block 1.
 Block 2.
 Block 3.
 Block 4.

The corner blocks, then came the sashing strips for the sides.

 Row 1.
 Row 2.
 Row 3.
Row 4.

All these pieces make up the puzzle to create the center block of the 365 Challenge Quilt.
Quilt along's is a great way to sew only a few blocks a week, or in this case one a day.  By the end of the year, one will have a quilt top or two to show for one's efforts.  It is a neat way to use up scraps of fabric.

The Splendid Sampler
Measure twice, cut once!

All the blocks so far.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Treasures from the past.

Every now and again, one meet a special treasure. If they are meant to cross our paths and meet us, they will.  This is the story of two stitchery samplers:

They come from Wales, two of the samplers is still in Catherine's family.  The third one, is a mystery.  She knows there was a third one, but alas it seems to have disappeared over the years.  Her samplers came to Canada, in the 1960's when her own Mother went back to Wales for a visit.  Catherine received these two in 1995.  She took it upon herself to have them mounted on acid free paper and have them mounted behind protective glass.  Preserving them for generations still to come and enjoy.

Unfortunately, the first sampler was washed in 1934, left in the sun to dry on the lawn,  on top of a linen towel.  It has faded a bit, the intentions was good at the time.  Today we know not to do this.

These samplers have been passed down the Maternal line, of the Hampson family.  One daughter placed them in a garage, which was left behind with some other heirlooms, when she moved.  Granny discovered this, retrieved them and gave them to her daughter-in-law.  A very wise woman!

They also had the pleasure to spend some time with a Spinster Aunt, who got married at 40 years and had two babies by 43.  Their journey has been incredible, as for the women, they are strong and are trailblazing a path, in the world.
 The first one, is a classic alphabet sampler, done by Catherine Haywood dated 1865.  The function of an embroidered sampler was for two reasons.  A record of stitches and educational for learning and practice.
The second one, is the most unique sampler.  The linen has a water colour painting on it.  Some of the areas was not stitched, this allows one to see the artist ability, at such a young age.  This sampler was finished at the tender age of just 10 years old.  The stitching is exquisite.  The composition and balance of the whole picture is done with amazing ability.  It is not just a sampler, with lots of random motifs added and stitched.

This is a true work of art,  done by Mary Ann Young 1829.  Her family,  affluent tenant farmers,  lived in North Wales,  near the river Dee.  Close neighbours,  included the Stokes family.  Catherine Rankin Stokes,  came to Canada  in 1798,  which shows they became family as well,  through marriage.
A beehive with bees.  The  beehive of hardworking people, working towards the same goal.  Honey was used for a complex variety of reasons.  It is not a common sight on samplers, a few that have this on the samplers date from 1700 to 1800.  As for the water colour painting on the linen, have tried to find some with this feature,  have not found any yet, especially for the era when this sampler was stitched.
As for the vine border, found this drawing in Averil Colby's book on samplers. They appeared on some of the early samplers from the sixteenth century, but did not provide inspiration for more than a hundred years, before going out of fashion.
 The birds are detailed.  Attention to detail for every part is evident everywhere, be it the farmer, the shading of the soil, berries or the house, not to mention the tiny bees and butterflies.
 Here one can see the painting on the linen.  It is a fine linen. The stitches are tiny.
 It has a squirrel, with its own feast, holding up a berry or an acorn? These critters represented mischief in Northern symbolism.
 The use of many designs, may have their roots deeply steeped in superstition and Religious conviction.  Be it conscious or not. 
  The Alphabet Sampler.  It is a sampler, with a frame,  lots of little motives, including a red house with chimneys.  This is something which one will find, especially on Welsh Samplers of this era.  It also has a crown on it.   Allegiances was transferred to needlework,  as was the fashion of the day.
A pair of birds, one male and one female.  This piece had lots of bands, for practicing, repeating patterns.
Young girls used stitching,  to learn.  The requirements to navigate life back then, was vastly different to our lives today.

The custodians of these pieces from the past, not only preserve them.  Look after them, while they are Guardians , until they are passed on to the next generation to become the keeper of the gifts from the past.

Thank you,  Catherine for sharing your Heirlooms with us, may the inspire many to do greater things in the world. 

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Catching up, after the Spring cleaning!

Vintage Moments, this quilt has all the beautiful colours of Spring.  Today, it is a sunny day, with blue skies.  It is a lot warmer, the snow is almost all gone.  We can garden now and have fun outside!
This is another quilt which can now be quilted.

365 Challenge:
 These are some of the borders, for the center medallion.
 Two of the borders, which has been sewn to center.
 Some of the darker blocks, a few more blocks to go.
The Splendid Sampler:
The last but not least, Block 18.