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Friday, 28 January 2011

Late Night With Jesica's Grandma

I burned the midnight oil last night.  I got 4 hours of uninterrupted sewing room time!  In a family of five that's very rare.  I worked on the ground of Mandy's Magical Tree, and stitched on all the leaves!

What's left?  Just some embellishment!  I do wish the tree was dark, but I had specific fabrics to work with:  beige, sage green, dark blue, and rainbow.  Still, I think I made it come together pretty well!  Then I can put on a binding and a hanging sleeve.  (Want to learn more?  I have a tutorial for each now over on the sidebar.)

I also started on my next commission.  Jesica has been waiting a LONG time for this.  ; )  Last year she asked if I could take her late grandmother's fabric stash and make a bit white quilt full of triangles.  I've had this bag some time now, but only opened it up last night.  WOW what a range!  hehehe  Jesica wasn't kidding.

There is everything from PJ's to curtains were in there. Most fabrics are very thin polyesters, but everything needs to be in this quilt.  Some things I'll reinforce with thin interfacing I think.  (Any ideas here?)  I got it all pressed and sliced into 2.5 inch strips.

I learned a lot about Grandma and her time.  As I steam pressed all of the fabrics, the room filled with the smell of soap.  Everything stored in all those old bread bags were washed and folded.

There were odd shapes from sections of blouses and dresses, and lots of long long 6 inch strips.  Everything was kept.  Everything was important and everything was reusable.  In this day and age, quilters are SO spoiled to load all this strong new designer fabric onto credit cards and toss big scraps in the trash, hey!??

Did you know:  I watched a popular quilting show on TV the other day and saw how they laughed and threw huge pieces in the garbage, chuckling, 'We'll just never use this again!  So we don't keep.  Into the trash it goes!".  My jaw hit the floor.  I have yet to write into that show and offer those women that I will pay shipping if they send me all their 'garbage'.  gag.  I have yet to do that, and I WILL.  And I will let you know what becomes of it.  GOSH.  They could at least donate it to charity.

WHEW!  Off my high horse...

I also did manage to cut all the white strips I will need too!  These are the repurposed choir gowns from my stash.  I thought using second hand all around would make sense.  No, I don't use recycled everything, but this fabric is excellent quality and was very well maintained.  I only needed two gowns for the whole quilt.  These gowns are gigantic!

So check this out!  I came across some of Grandma's precut diamonds.  Sweet fabric, hey?!!  Her template was there - something else that was recycled / repurposed.

fabulous fabric!  and an ink-stained cardboard template she kept

And then I flipped the waxy, worn cardboard over to reveal it's origin.  Check it out!  It was the side of a milk carton...

Isn't that great!?  If you cannot make it all out, it reads:

Doctors prescribe Milk
for children: 1 quart
for adults: one pint a day
Drink lots of milk
BUT safe milk
(Only pastuerized milk is safe milk)
Sanitation, Saskatchewan Dept of Public Health

Blast from the past!  Thanks for the lesson Grandma.  ; )  Now back to my 1200 half square triangles!  At least that's how many I calculated I will need for Jesica's Memory Quilt.



Anonymous said...

I'm super excited :) Can't wait to see what you do with everything! Have fun!

Molly said...

you are so very right about waste - there is so much of it that goes on. (my husband would say 'but you could at least throw SOMETHING out...) those of us who were brought up by people who lived through the depression still have a tendency to hang onto things because 'they could be useful someday'. of course, this is a good thing if we are quilters or crafters!

Molly said...

and as an aside - one of my favorite things to find at a garage sale is a bag of fabric bits or boxes (usually old chocolate or cookie tins!) of sewing bits and bobs. i always feel a bit like i'm 'rescuing' them...saving them from oblivion...i hope someone rescues my bits and bobs when the time comes!

My Sweet Prairie said...

For the record, I met Molly when she so generously responded to my online request for fabric when I first started my quilting addiction. She gave me bags and bags. Poof- instant stash! I used a lot, but just this weekend I bagged up what I'm haven't yet used and left it on the doorstep of another would-be sewist who had made a similar request. : ) When I garage sale my stuff at guild, I am careful to only sell of things I have purchased for myself.

My Sweet Prairie said...

Ah Molly! I was just craving 'garage sale season' the other day. I love garage saling. It feels like treasure hunting. I need more storage for my stuff... more shelves... more frames. I can't wait!!

Gailanne said...

You are such an inspiration!

I just love to come here and see what new adventure you're working on, it's always something special!

So thank you Monika...
just thank you.

Anonymous said...

After reading your reaction to the TV quilters tossing out treasures, I had to laugh. I have a basket full of tiny pieces of fabric from all my projects, because you just never know when you'll need them for art. Thanks for sharing all your excitement and the beautiful art that results.
Stay inspired!

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

I can just imagine that you are going to create something amazing with all this color!!
And I agree you should contact the TV program....I am always emailing companies when I dont like something they have done...and most of them at least respond!

mlafayette said...

I loved reading your post because I too made a quilt with my grandmother's stash! She had a started a quilt in the 70's??? She had started by cutting out the diamonds and did a few squares. I finished it the year before she died. I gave it to her and she had it on her bed and now I have it. What great memories...


Bee said...

You go girl! Contact those wasteful TV quilters. I was just reading an article today on the rising cost of cotton and how it is just starting to reach our quilt shops. They may be sorry they threw those precious scraps away! I can't wait to see your commission piece as it progresses. What a treasure! Love the milk carton template! Maybe there is a way to save that too....in a pocket on the back of the quilt?

notes of sincerity said...

Oh how your post tugs at my heart. What a treasure you have there, in all the different fabrics. The memories, the stories and now you will bring them all together and create such a beautiful quilt, an heirloom. :o)
Sincerely, Trish

Jackie said...

Oh, not to sound nosey or bossy, but could you please make the label an envelope and enclose that cardboard diamond in it... or something like that.... that is such a keepsake....

Christie, Describe Happy said...

I so enjoy seeing what you are up to! 1200 triangles... wowie! But I have to admit that pinwheels and triangles in general are so fun to work with and especially in all those colors and patterns! Hope that show sends you their 'garbage' -- what fun you could have with it!

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