Needlework, Finishing, Designing, Quilting, Some Discoveries and Adventures in Stitching from Windy Ridge Designs

Saturday, July 31, 2010

More From the Quilt Display

Turns out my friend Nancy had taken a bunch of pictures at the Heritage Day quilt display and she shared them with me.  Thanks Nancy!

This quilt was made of cross stitched blocks and hand quilted.  You can see on the right an example of the information sheets I put with each quilt.  I told as much of the story as I could about the quilt itself and where it was made in the county.  I also included a photograph of the maker.  I was surprised that in most cases the people who loaned the quilts to us did have photos available.  Not only were the quilts honored and passed down within the families, but their makers were remembered well also.

This Dresden Plate quilt was one of two made by the same woman whose daughter told me that in her later years, her mother (a tailor by trade earlier in life) would get up early in the morning and quilt all day into the late evening hours.

This quilt was made by the Piecemakers Guild of Berkeley County and raffled off as a fundraiser.  It is made up of plain quilted blocks, nine patches and blocks with monochrome images of historic buildings in Berkeley County.

I am still missing a few quilt images and hope to get a response to the call I've placed in the society's newsletter to fill in the gaps.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Explaining July

Had a question posted recently by Wnnka.  She wanted to know why I put the "snowflake" down with the country stars at the bottom of the Prairie Schooler "July" sampler.

Well, the snowflake is actually the compass that was done up above the ocean in the original sampler - it was in a box and had W, N, E & S compass points.  I had to get rid of it to accomodate my mega fireworks in the sky.  But, I really liked the compass.  So, I decided to put it below with the country stars. 

I was going to attach letter beads - like baby bracelets are made out of?  But, the ones that I have are too big.  I need to find smaller ones.  So, for now the compass looks like Wnnka said - a snowflake.  I guess I could be like the Amish who say they make mistakes on purpose because no one other than God is perfect (I think some Amish lady is really smart for coming up with that one); and I could have said something like - it means Christmas in July, of course!  Not!

Thanks for asking Wnnka!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Award Day!

On Wednesday, July 7th, 13 of us from Pack Horse Ford Chapter went to Washington, D.C. to attend DAR Congress; an annual event.  We had two reasons for going.  One was for me to receive (and my friends to cheer me on) my first place National award for my Bee Line March Box.  The second reason was that an 1826 sampler, that was done in Harper's Ferry, WV, had been purchased by the West Virginia State Society DAR (my chapter played a roll in that) and it was going to be on display in the West Virginia Room at DAR Continental Hall during the open house on that day. 

We were driven to DC in a commuter van and arrived on time at the JW Marriott Hotel to attend the West Virginia Breakfast.  It was really nice, but we had to rush out of there to get down two levels of the hotel to the ballroom where the awards were being handed out.  We got there and they had already started!  I was sitting next to two ladies who were together.  I asked where we were, they told me literature.  I thought, OK, I think I know where we are in the program.  During a lull in awards I asked where they were from.  They said Oregon.  I asked, Portland?  The lady nearest me seemed a little surprised that I actually had heard of their state let alone, knew the name of a city there.  Smart a** me said "I also know that the capital is Astoria."  She was even more impressed.  The other lady leaned over and said that she wasn't from the Portland area, she came from a little town on the other side of the mountains that she knew I'd never heard of.  I looked at her and said "I bet you're from Bend."  I swear, I thought she was going to fall over dead!  After determining she was going to be OK, I told her I could really surprise her.  She could not imagine how I could do that.  "Well", I said "I haven't only heard of Bend, Oregon; I've actually been there."  At that point the awarding started again and I had to give the lady time to recover from the vapors anyway. 

Finally, we got to fiber arts.  They started with the overall winner who received a special award sort of like "Grand Champion".  Then it was my turn!
The lady in the middle is Marianne who was the Fiber Arts chairman.  Billie Brock in the really pretty blue suit was the American Heritage chairman.  They said a lot of really nice things about my box - which I thought was kind of odd because they hadn't said anything about the quilt that the grand champion award had gone to.  And, here's my award:

After the awards we went back up to street level, caught three different cabs and headed over to DAR Constitution Hall.  The DAR complex actually takes up a whole city block in Washington and is Constitution Hall, Continental Hall, the Library and Administration Building.  Pretty neat.  Below is a photo of the DAR Library.  It is magnificent!  The ceiling is glass skylights.  And just look at that clock!  Rooms like this do something visceral to me.

First thing we did was head downstairs to the lunchroom and get sandwiches for lunch.  We actually had to wait until 12:30 for the display room to open.  We were the first ones in when it did open though.  And there was a surprise.  Front and center, right inside the room in a very prominent place, was my box!  I couldn't believe it!  And, so, here I am with my box.  The only thing that we thought was a downer - and lots of other people going through the room said the same thing - was that there was nothing to tell the story behind the pieces.  We had to submit an essay with our piece explaining how we got the idea and how it fit with the theme "America's Heritage Remembered".  If these essays (or paragraphs) had been displayed with the pieces, I think their stories would have been better understood.

Here are a couple of other pieces that I thought were outstanding in the competition:  The caligraphy you have to look at - and read - enlarged.  I thought that this was a VERY clever idea.  Seems to me the lady was from Texas.

This quilt is from the northwest - the color shows as pink, but it was really red on black with white shell buttons.  I just love the color combination red, black and white.

We then wandered about for the rest of the day in small groups.  I spent the afternoon with Darla Ambrose who is a fellow chapter member and very dear.  She is just one of the nicest women I know - and very classy!  Believe me, I can use lessons in classy.  Anyhow, we went shopping in the DAR store and the vendor mall in the hallway outside Constitution Hall (got lots of nice patriotic jewelry) and the DAR Museum store.  We went through the Museum and saw their quilt show and the displays set up celebrating French General Lafayette.  They also had displays on table wares.  Again, no explaination of the tablewares, just that they were displayed.  Finally Darla and I went into Constitution Hall and sat in a couple of the seats there, listening to the choir practice for the Congressional Opening Ceremony to be held later that night.  Here's a picture of the stage.

In the DAR buildings, there are rooms called "Period Rooms".  Each state society has their own period room which is decorated in Colonial/Federal style (thus the "period").  I had forgotten not only to charge my camera battery, but to put the memory card in, so was operating on low, low, low power when I took the following picture of the West Virginia Period Room -

My chapter regent had been asked by the State Regent to prepare something about the sampler that was purchased last year and is now on display in the room.  She and another chapter member got together with another chapter member who conveniently owns a printing company and came up with the most amazing brochure about the woman and the sampler.  Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of it yet.  But, here's the sampler:

As you can see, it was stitched by Mary Louisa Broadus.  When I get my copy of the brochure, later this summer, I'll write more about the sampler.

It was an awesome day!  Because of a series of unfortunate events I was unable to pick up my  box when my husband took me back down to D.C. on Saturday the 10th.  The woman was nowhere to be found!?  Fortunately, I will be seeing the state chair this coming weekend and she was able to find the woman and the box.  So it will soon be happily home.  The executive director of another local historical society has asked me to bring the box down for her to see when I can.  They are currently putting on an antique needlework show through October.  More on that in another post. 

Hope you enjoyed the pics!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Funny Thing

I don't know if all of you will appreciate the humor in this - be warned, some of it might offend you.  This was passed on to me by a friend at the Historical Society.  I hope you enjoy it.

Why Women Shouldn't Take Men Shopping

Like a lot of women, my wife insisted that I accompany her on her trips to Walmart.  Unfortunately, like most men, I find shopping boring and prefer to get in and out.  Equally unfortunately, my wife is like most women - she loves to browse.  The other day, she received the following letter from our local Walmart's manager:

Dear Madame:

Over the past six months, your husband has caused quite a commotion in our store.  We cannot tolerate this behavior and are now forced to ban both of you from the store.  Our complaints against your husband are listed below and are documented by our video surveillance cameras.

January 8:  Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in other people's carts when they weren't looking.

January 29:  Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.

February 15:  Made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the  women's restroom.

February 29:  Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, "Code 3 in Housewares.  Get on it right away."  This caused the employee to leave her assigned station and receive a reprimand from her Supervisor that in turn resulted in a Union grievance, causing management to lose time and costing the company money.

March 14:  Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a  bag of MandM's on law-away.

March 25:  Moved a CAUTION - WET FLOOR sign to a carpeted area.

April 1:  When a clerk asked if they could help him, he began crying and screamed, "Why can't you people just leave me alone!?"  EMTs were called.

April 23:  Looked right into the security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked his nose.

April 29:  While handling guns in the hunting department, he asked the clerk where the antidepressants were.

May 4:  Darted around the store suspiciously while loudly humming the Mission Impossible theme music.

May 5:  In the auto department, he practiced his Madonna Look using different sizes of funnels.

May 30:  Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through, yelled "Pick Me!  Pick Me!"

June 8:  When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumed a fetal position and screamed "Oh, no!  It's those voices again!"

And last, but not least, June 15 he went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile, then yelled very loudly, "Hey, there's no toilet paper in here!"  One of the clerks passed out!

Please, don't either one of you ever come back to our store again!  Sincerely, Management.

a few of these had me laughing spasmodically!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

More From the Heritage Day Quilt Display

A friend of mine from the historical society recently mentioned she'd taken some pictures of the quilts that day at the Berkeley County Museum where I put up the display "Quilts of Berkeley County".  She was kind enough to share her pictures with me; so here they are:

In the background is the applique by my friend Carol called "Grandma Janet's Backyard".  On the bed is an old quilt that was donated; it is on permanent display in the room.  Sadly, we have no background on it.  In the foreground on the right is one of two fabulous crazy quilts that we had.  This one is dated 1885.  On the left you can just see the patchwork made of dress scraps.

These two were loaned by my friend Linda.  They were done by her Grandmother from fabric scraps.  The one of the left used satins and seersucker.

Above is one of the oldest quilts we had in the display - it was dated in the stitching as 1860.  It was red, green and white.  Since we also had long-running display celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America in the kitchen, I thought that the colors in the quilt went great with that theme.

The instant that I saw the "Tree of Life" quilt done by my friend Phyllis (all hand applique!) I knew it had to go in the Lincoln Room because of the color.  In the foreground is the "50 States" quilt done by another local lady - it has 50 blocks embroidered with the state birds and flowers and was also a real beauty.

This beautiful and old Fruit Basket quilt was displayed in the Other Wars Room.

This is the last picture I have of the quilts on display.  Hopefully I'll be able to gather up a few more of the others.  In this picture is the red and white patchwork made by a woman named Georgia in the 1950's.  It is beautiful in its simplicity.  The quilt on the mantel, called "Froggy 4th of July" and the two pillows were made by me.

 This is not all the quilts.  Hopefully I will be able to gather up more photos from other people and post them soon.  Also, Deb over at the Thread Gatherer is having a flower frog giveaway.  You should go visit her blog!  She's the one that I copied with storing my scissors in the flower frog.  But her frogs are WAY better than my plain old glass one.  Check her out.

Monday, July 5, 2010

July Sampler Finished !!

I previewed my PS July sampler last week and finished it up over this holiday weekend.

Here's how it looks on the Prairie Schooler website:

And here is what mine looks like:

There are three major things I changed - the linen color, the phrase, and the fireworks.  Not to say that's ALL I changed ('cause I really did a lot!), but those are the BIG changes.  I'm really pleased with it.  For the most part I used Gentle Art threads - Presidential Blue, Buckeye Scarlet, Chalk, Morning Glory, Black Crow, and Sarsparilla.  I threw in Crescent Colors Grasshopper and Golden Star as well as Weeks Meadow.  I eliminated several objects which crossed a lot of colors off the PS list.  Also, it called for two reds; one dark and one plain red.  I just used the one red and got enough variation in it that it didn't matter.  I also finished off several spools of Kreinik that I'd been hanging onto from older projects.  Don't know exactly what colors they were, but DO know that when I stitched with the BF alone, I used four strands.  When I was stitching with one of the strands of floss, I used two strands of BF.

Whenever I look at this sampler, I will always remember that this was the year that my wonderful farmer's market, a couple miles up the road, lost 75% of their cherry crop.  And they have such WONDERFUL cherries!  Dagone frost!

Hope you all had a terrific 4th of July - I go on Wednesday to get my award for the DAR piece!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Check This Out

For you quilters out there, you might want to read the blog entry I've made on my other blog about the Shirt Quilt I am in the process of making for a client.  I've even done a brief - and hopefully helpful - tutorial on how I did it.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Progress on July, etc.

I took a little time off from stitching my Bee Line March Sampler to do the Prairie Schooler July sampler.  I had been oogling this sampler since it came out.  Then, over the winter, probably while we were snowed in by the blizzard, I saw Glenna do a post on hers.  She said that she'd decided to use Kreinik threads on the fireworks.  I really liked the look.  When I finally got my copy of the chart, I knew for sure I wanted to do the same with the Kreinik blending filaments and braids that I had.  But I wanted to tart mine up even more.  You can almost hear the 'bombs bursting in air' now.  And of course, I wanted to change a few things about the design.  Be sure to also check out the Kreinik Blog and Tweets by KreinikGirl! 

I made a bunch of changes including the phrase.  The moment I saw this chart I was taken back to 1993 when my family spent the 4th of July weekend on Solomon's Island in southern Maryland.  We watched the fireworks over the mouth of the Patuxent River.  It was the most amazing fireworks I've ever seen in my life and it was because they were not only going off in the sky, but being reflected in the water.  That's got to be the BEST way to see fireworks!  When I wasn't using Kreinik threads, I used Gentle Art (and one Weeks) overdyed floss. 

I think the fabric adds quite a bit to the fireworks scene as well.  The rosy hues on the blue do look a lot like the floating smoke that you see after the fireworks go off in the dusk.  This linen is a handpainted 28 count Crossed Wing Collection called Galaxy.  I might decide here real soon to trade away some pieces of it.  The original hunk was a "fat half" and I just don't know what I'm going to do with the rest of it.  So, if you think you might be interested, drop me a comment.

I'm about two thirds of the way through with this and expect I shall be done by end of the holiday weekend.  I am really enjoying it.  We had a weather front come through and it has just been delightful!  We were in the upper 90's to 100 the last week and more, but this morning when I got up it was 54!  These kind of mornings always remind me of when I visited with a friend in Oswego, N.Y.  We had to have blankets on the bed in July!  Great sleeping weather.

On 4th of July we sit on the front porch and watch the fireworks the neighbors shoot off.  We can see quite a few from here on the ridge top.  I don't know where they get them from, but they're as good as the ones we'd see if we drove and got caught up in crowds and the whole bit.  Sometimes (like this year) my son gets someone paying him back in fireworks instead of cash.  So, the two knuckleheads will be setting those off in the driveway while I watch - fearful that they're going to blow something off - from a distance.  I always remind my son that I still want grandchildren out of him.  A few years ago, my husband blew out an eardrum with firecrackers.  It was one of those  times that he was really glad he couldn't hear what I was saying!  It did heal, but his hearing has been damaged and really loud noises now give him terrific headaches.

Here's something neat I've been using. . .  I stitch in areas because it helps me make fewer mistakes.  So, I keep needles threaded in the different colors on my pincushion and then like to have my threads at hand to pick up quick too.  So working on this project I had them all in a pile on my cabinet and thought, I'm going to have a terrible coffee accident or something; what can I do to get the pile off the cabinet but still be quickly accessible?  Here's my solution:

It's a glass candy dish in the shape of a chicken sitting on a nest.  I'm sure you've all seen them in the antique and thrift shops.  Some have red painted combs, but mine is just plain white.  Anyway, it's working out well and far better for me to have thread, rather than candy, in that chicken!

Hope you have a terrific 4th of July!