Sunday, May 26, 2013

Glencoe Mill Village

Hubby and I took a 30 minute ride to a nearby place that I've been wanting to see for some time. I had no idea it was so easy to get to, or I would have gone by myself a long time ago.  :) (and I will def. go again!)

The little mill village has been restored with the help of the NC Historical Society.  Seeing places like this just makes my heart flutter.

These old homes were restored from such a run down condition.  It's amazing to see them now, perfectly repaired and restored to historical guidelines.  (the lady at the museum said they were originally all white, when they were being used for employees of the old mill)

This was one of my favorites.  The houses with the double front doors were built with 'shift workers' in mind.  This was done so the whole family would not be  disturbed  when the worker came in from a late shift while the family was sleeping.

A few of the houses were torn completely down and rebuilt to replicate the original mill houses.  However, most were restored from houses like this.

Only the supervisors were allowed to live in a house with a wrap around porch.

I have many more pictures of the houses, but wanted to show you these few.  These houses sit very close to the street and if the families were sitting on their porches, they could talk back and forth to those around them.  I'm sure it was a very hard life, working in a mill for very low wages.  But the history and nostalgic side of me just loves this area and would be proud to live in one of these houses today.

There was a museum (which was the original old general store) that housed a lot of memorabilia from Glencoe Mill.  The weaving looms were amazing.  Not only their size, but the fact that someone had to mastermind all those bits and pieces and how they would work together to make fabric. Some women had looms in their homes and made fabric for the mill as a cottage industry. (for very little pay)

These are some of the plaid fabrics that were made at Glencoe Mill.  Click here to read more about the museum.

This quilt was made by locals to represent the mill houses.  Isn't it beautiful?

A little girl's dress made from flour sack fabric.  It was an embarrassment to most people to have dresses made from these fabrics.  Who knew we would someday pay big $$ to get our hands on some of it?

An interesting bottle tree in someone's yard.  Click to enlarge to see better detail.

I like this mailbox, but was surprised that it was 'allowed' to be decorated this way in a historical village.  (posted this for you Ancient One)

More feedsack/ flour sack fabric

A pretty quilt (I think it was made with fabric from the mill)

It was a beautiful day and so much fun to get out and do something different.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

~Thrifting Goodness~

There is a thrift store  in downtown Asheboro that I like to visit.  For the month of May, everything in the store is 1/2 price. So, of course,  I've been several times this month and this is what I've picked up recently.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love vintage stitchery.  These were made in 1961 and gifted to someone for their birthday.  (written on the back) Love the happy colors!  Cute!!

Some of you also know that I collect rolling pins.  See the one in the middle?  The hand carved one?  Yes, I bought that from my favorite thrift store.

And who could resist this vintage pencil sharpener?? This will work great in my shadow box that I plan to make some day, displaying vintage sewing items.  Total spent on all of the above:  $7  I love thrifting! :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Recent Photo Shoot

We took the grandsons to a local park and a friend did a photo shoot for us.

Notice the boys are sitting on Chandler's baby quilt.

Aunt April came along with us; making it even more fun!

One of my favorites!

Sweet boys!

Mr. Blue eyes!

Little ham!

Me and Sweet daughter

Aunt April loves

It was a fun day!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly!

 The Good:

I finally put a quilt into my quilting frame all by myself.  (it was a little crooked) The machine sewed well with no bobbin or tension issues.  It was fun!

(this quilt was made many years ago by me, using the scraps I received after my dad's mom died.  I never finished it because my borders were wavy, and I didn't want to remove them to fix it.)

The Bad:

I made lots of boo boo's on this quilt,  always trying to figure out what in the world to do next.  I love this machine, but I'm not so much into the quilting frame.  I think I still want to sell it.

I had several of these creases in the back of my quilt; not to mention my batting got folded along one little section.  It should be plenty warm in that area!  :))  (the backing is a thrift store sheet... I love it)

 The Ugly:

This is some ugly machine quilting here:

I tried meandering and loop d loops.  It really was a fun process, but this girl needs lots of practice. Those who quilt for others truly have my respect!!!  I did trim the wavy borders off and I'm going to bind it with something happy.  This will be my little couch quilt...just for me... "with love from Mary" is what I'll call it.   While I was quilting, I thought about my Grandmama and wondered what she would think of this huge quilting set up.  Would she have had this contraption if they had been available to her?  I wondered about the fabrics....did she actually use these to sew her clothing, or were they just scraps that someone else handed to her?  I wish she had lived longer so that I could have talked 'sewing' with her as  grown up.

So, that's it.... one quilt down... and do I make impulsive purchases?  I think so!  I 'so' didn't need this machine and frame.  (if anyone is interested in purchasing in NC area, send me an email)

But, look what I found at a thrift store today:

Everything  in the store was 1/2 price today.  If you click on the picture to enlarge, you will see the original price was .50 cents.  I paid a whole quarter for this book!  I just love treasure hunts, don't you?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Thoughts on hand quilting

So, what makes a quilt top worthy of hand quilting?  :)  The Goodwill quilt top that I am currently working on,  probably never dreamed it would ever be picked up, bought, washed,  repaired, washed over and over several times, cat hairs picked, and then hand quilted, of all things!!

What makes this quilt worthy of hand quilting for me is:

The mystery of it all (who made it? why was  it never finished? why did someone give it to Goodwill? )

All the beautiful fabrics (there are few repeats in this quilt, so many pretty fabrics  and hand quilting gives me the opportunity to enjoy every single triangle.  Did this quilter have a huge stash?  Did she (or he)  exchange charm squares with others?)

As far as my own quilt tops, I have one quilt top waiting to be hand quilted.  It's the Underground Railroad Quilt that I made from Eleanor Burn's book.  I learned a lot while piecing this one and just could not dream of meandering meaningless stitches all over the top using a sewing machine.  Most quilts look better with the quilt stitches outlining the seams and I'm sure the Underground Railroad will look good this way, too.  That's not to say that a professional machine quilter couldn't make it look pretty, but that seems to take 'my' heart out of a quilt for me.

Having said that, I recently purchased a mid arm quilter and I have a quilt in the machine now.  Some quilts just need to be done quickly and simply by machine.   I'm hand quilting tonight and it made me think about how we decide what deserves our time to hand quilt.

I mentioned before that I was trying a new frame for lap quilting.  I bought this one:

It's a Q snap 11x17 size frame.  When I first started with it, everything felt too tight to quilt.  (those little snaps are tight, I promise!!)  I was able to loosen the quilt in the frame and I ended up taking one end of the 'snap' off, so that only three sides were secured into the frame.  It truly helps with making the backing stay tight and neat.

Tried and true:  My UltraThimble fingertip shield.  I've tried different thimbles and used to swear by leather ones.  (they wore out too fast).  For some time now,  I have been using this one that sticks on the tip of my finger and I love it.   I don't wear one on my underneath hand; I depend on my calloused middle finger for that side.  :)

So, what makes you decide which ones to hand quilt and which ones to machine quilt?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Hand Quilting

I love this quote from greenQuilts blog:

"There's just something about hand quilting.  It speaks to slowing down and enjoying the process.  In this world of rush and hurry and get MORE done, it's quite the opposite.  Take your time and enjoy the process.  I certainly am."

The $5 Goodwill Quilt

I needed a break from the sewing machine so I have picked up the $5 Goodwill quilt to work on again. I took it out of the frame this week and have been lap quilting without a hoop.  I have discovered there are many quilters who quilt this way. (Celebrate Hand Quilting Blog)  It has been so relaxing to sit in the recliner, with the quilt in my lap, ( a little dachshund under the quilt), and being able to stitch away, without having to sit at a frame for an extended period of time.  Downside:  my lap quilting isn't as pretty on the back as the quilting that was done on the frame.  :(  I think I'll look for a small hoop this weekend and try using that method.  I had forgotten how much I enjoyed hand quilting.  (funny how the internet makes us think we have to go high tech to be in the quilting 'race')  I'm going back to the basics; quilting is for ME.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Baby Quilt for Liam

A friend from work is having a baby next month.  I finished up this little quilt yesterday.

I wish I had used a solid color fabric for the inside blocks, so the 'chain' effect would have shown.  I used an Eleanor Burns pattern to make this quilt;  the quilt in her book was blue and white and it showed up so much better.  It was an easy quilt to make and I'll definitely use this pattern again.  I'll just pick my fabrics more carefully.

I decided to baste the layers together this time, instead of using safety pins.  I had to snip a few threads as they would catch under my quilting foot, but all in all, I think my quilt was much smoother on the back than usual.

I have to show you the thread I used to baste with.. how old do you think this thread might be?  I bought it in Greenville, NC many years ago. That store as been closed for a very long time.  Do Piece Goods Stores still exist anywhere?  This was a spool I had given to my grandmother as part of a gift (a future post) many years ago.  It will be perfect for basting quilts!

I was not happy at all with the back of the quilt before I washed it.  Thanks goodness for the 'crinkle' effect when it comes out of the dryer.  (although I don't always like the crinkle look, I did this time!!)  I used a different color thread in the bobbin....variegated blue on top, cream color in the bobbin.  When I finished, there were blue specks everywhere on the back of the quilt. It's probably a 'tension' thing, but I wasn't sure how to fix it.  Thankfully, when I washed and dried it, the blue specks were not nearly as noticeable.  I also used flannel for  batting instead of regular batting.  It makes a nice lightweight 'summer' quilt, but I don't think I'll use it again.  

I'm curious as to what type of batting you prefer:  cotton, blends, poly....??  Do you ever use blankets?  Do you prewash your batting?  Do you like the crinkle look?  Do any of you still hand quilt?  (I miss hand quilting) Please leave a comment with your preferences and any advice you might have!  Thanks!!

**Sheila, I can't find your email.  Can you send me an email?**

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Quilters....wanna read something funny?

Please go to this link and read this lady's rant about online quilting.   LOL  I've had a few of these same thoughts.  (make sure you read through some of the comments)  **warning:  some ugly language there**

Friday, May 3, 2013

Trash or treasure??

My grandmother passed away just before Christmas.  My mom and her brothers and sisters are now going through the difficult task of removing her things from her home.

Mama told me that she had two 'old raggedy' quilts that 'needed to go to the trash pile.'  I asked her to save them for me, and I picked them up this week when we went to visit.  Yes, they are worn, but I could never throw them away.  I don't think I could even cut them to salvage the good parts for another project.  The colors are beautiful!  They are wonderfully soft and have a sweet musty smell.

I know nothing about these they came to be, who used them, etc.  Both are machine pieced and neither have batting... just a front and a back.  I guess they would be considered bed coverlets and not really quilts.  Depression era?  Feed sack fabrics?  I find it interesting to see how the pink and brown fabrics held up so well, but not the others.  It makes me wonder how well today's fabric will be holding up in 75-100 years, when others are discovering our quilts and wondering about them.  I wish our foremothers had labeled their quilts.

I would love to hear your throughts.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Grandchildren Love

I've had a fun week with these guys! We visited my parents yesterday and I have some cool 'quilty' stuff to share soon. (6 hour car trip.... they were great!!)  Hopefully, I'll get some pic's today so I can share!

** must click to enlarge this photo to enjoy Avery's little facial expression.  ha ha!  **