Saturday, December 29, 2012

Journal Focus

Another Christmas has passed and soon a new year will arrive. It has been a fun year of starting a blog and following other blogs. It has also been so easy to spend a lot of time looking at so many wonderful blogs that are on the internet. Now it is time for me to get back to my original purpose of blogging. I have not done a very good job of keeping a journal or diary of my quilting journey or of taking pictures of early quilts. When I have tried hand writing a journal, it ends up being messy with erasing and scribbling, which drives me batty!!  ;>)  Writing on the computer is so much easier. I can just delete if it gets too messy and rewrite.  LOL

The first quilt that I am going to feature is one that I made 30+ years ago. It is a crazy patch, foundation pieced on old pieces of sheets, had a polyester batting, flannel backing, tied, and is queen size. Some of the fabrics are from my Grandmother and were probably from the 30's. They did not stand up to the constant use this quilt had. The quilt is getting quite raggedy and the polyester batting has migrated out until there is no longer any batting left in it. My children liked looking at this quilt as they were growing up because it featured fabrics from clothing that I made for them, as well as, myself. There is even fabric from maternity tops that I wore. Some fabric scraps were also from a local sewing factory where they sewed sleepwear.
I really enjoy seeing new quilters using many of the old techniques but I also love many of the new ideas that are being presented. Since many quilters are now going green, they are also bringing back many of the old practices.

My mother-in-law was practicing going green long before anyone knew what that was. Being raised in the depression I am sure had a huge impact on her. She used to bring home the old wool suits left over from the church rummage sales. She would then take them all apart, hand wash the wool, and sew them into either crazy patch or log cabin quilts. The quilts were warm and heavy. Some had feather stitching on them. My husband still remembers the weight of the quilts that he slept under while he was growing up, especially since there was no heat in the upstairs bedrooms during the cold Minnesota winters.

My mother-in-law's quilts saved my life (at least I firmly believe this). When my husband and I were engaged, I used to come up from Minneapolis to the farm on the weekends. I slept on the fold-down couch in the living room. During an extremely cold weekend (30 degrees F. below zero), the front door to the living room blew open. The heat always died down during the night in the wood furnace, so it would get very cold in the house and was even more cold with the door open. Since I was cold, I just burrowed down under those wool quilts a little further and went back to sleep. Sometime during the morning when my mother-in-law got up, she closed the door, and started the wood furnace. Then she packed jars of warm water around me to warm me up. I never woke up for any of this activity. Hypothermia may have already started to set in but all those wool quilts piled on me I firmly believe saved me. This happened 45 years ago. This incident started my appreciation for quilts. I am only sorry that I do not have one of those old wool quilts.

The end of every year starts a thought process of what do I want to accomplish in the coming year. The last year did not have a strong focus and I ended up going in a lot of different directions. UFO's will be part of my focus, but I would like to focus also on the challenges that our contemporary quilt group, Crossing Borders, has identified for the coming year. Stash reduction is also a focus. Well, still thinking!!


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