Week 15? Has it really been that long? I'm really enjoying this weekly challenge, and once again want to thank Sally Russick
for all her hard work to keep us informed and challenged...for 52 weeks!
This week's challenge is Aged Beauty:
"This week focus on the aged beauty that may be an old building, or an aged vehicle in a parking lot, items in a local barn, flea market, garage, or in your jewelry box and snap a shot of a vintage beauty!"
I had finished my photos for this week before half an hour had passed from Sally's announcement; I knew immediately what I wanted to "snap". In fact, I have many, many items I could have used, but the backstory of these ones I think is quite unique, so I'm going to bore you with a little story and LOTS of pictures this time. *ok, can it, those of you in the back whispering to yourselves...and every time!*
From the time I was about 3 I've been a hand-stitcher; not at my mother's knee, but at the side of my babysitter, who was a milliner back in the 1950's. Her work was amazing....all hand done from gorgeous expensive fabrics, with exotic trims and filmy veils. Likely in order to save her sanity *g* she taught me how to sew as soon as I was able to hold a needle. She let me use the scraps of those wonderful fabrics and trims to make clothing for my dolls, and later taught me how to use a pattern to make my own clothing, and how to embellish household linens of various kinds with beautiful embroidery.
When I went to school for the first time, I made my own first-day outfit....a pleated short skirt and a white blouse with a little Peter Pan collar...very fashionable for the time!
As I grew older, my sewing evolved into making quilts; by this time I had my own sewing machine, but I always enjoyed doing handwork of various kinds as well. As I was now the "quilter of the family", when an elderly friend of the family died in about 1970 at age 93, they gave to me the quilts her parents had brought to the West when they left Ontario to homestead in Alberta. I have had them since, and fittingly, when I was transferred by my company in 2004 to Ontario....they came home again.
I also inherited from my mother, my great-grandmother's crazy quilt; this one is about 128 years old. When my sisters and I were children, it was used as a coverlet when we were ill, so it has been very well-loved over the years, and there isn't a lot left of it. Nonetheless, I treasure it.
Here's the 128 year old crazy:
The cream patches you see are backing, where the fabric originally used has disintegrated completely; amazingly, some have held up quite well!
This is the backing; those are not stains you see, they are the remains of pattern on the floral backing fabric. You can also see that the quilt was hand-tied, which was common for crazy quilts.
Here are the quilts from the Peller family that emigrated west in about 1890 to homestead in Alberta.
This one is the oldest one. The pattern, for those of you not quilters, is called Log Cabin. Even if you're not a quilter, you'll likely recognize that name, as it has been a pattern used very commonly for much longer than 150 years. It is completely hand-stitched, with the narrow "logs" common to older Log Cabins; these ones are about 1/4" wide, although as you can see the quilter had a little difficulty keeping them even *g*. Modern Log Cabin quilts generally have about 1" or wider logs. Log Cabins can be "set" (the arrangement of the blocks) in many different ways. This set is called Barn Raising. From the fabrics, my guess would set the age of the quilt at early 1900's, or late 1800's. It is in excellent condition.
This next one is from approximately the 1920's (from the look of the fabrics). It's a Bears Paw variant which I've never seen before or since. Can you see the Bears "Paw"? It's the square, with the 4 triangle pieces above and to the right, forming the "claws". A very appropriate pattern for a quilt from what was at that time the Wild West! This one has a muslin background, and is hand quilted and hand pieced. Again, it is in excellent condition. It graces the back of my living room sofa.
I'm delighted to have them "home" again, and hope that when I pass on, I am able to pass them to someone who will love them as much as I do.