Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Quilts ~ Quilts ~ Quilts

This is all about quilts, our family quilts.  
Quilts that I have seen my whole life, heard the stories of who made them many times.  
But it wasn't until a recent visit with my Mom caused me to take another look at them.  

You see, I have this desire to simplify our life, to get down to the important things, 
the simplest things. The basics.
To learn how to bake bread, sew, cook better, grow more food, 
get debt free, raise chickens. . . . . well the list drags on for miles.

So, I decided to stop in the local quilt fabric shop and take a gander at all the pretty fabric, 
because I am trying to create a few homemade items for Christmas.
While chatting about being new to the area, my lack of sewing abilities, 
and our desire to start a berry and bee farm,
the owner suggests that I take a quilt class for beginners ~ 'Quilting 101'.
After convincing my honey that this a good investment, 
I paid my 75 bucks and got my name on the list.
Then I find out I need to bring my portable sewing machine 
(ahem, the one I had . . . not so portable)
So now, Jill must invest in a sewing machine that is portable 
(thank goodness for eBay~ and money in my paypal account)

Yesterday was my much awaited first quilting session.
We learned basic terminology, what we were going to do in each session, 
and we got to pick out and purchase our fabric for 
our table top/wall hanger star quilt.
Might I say, I am terribly excited about this. ~ Terribly!
I am dreaming of all the quilts I can make for all the people I love.

You can be sure there will be pictures of this journey.
Don't worry, I have warned the ladies, my camera will be in tow next week!
Next session:  Cutting!

~ Our families quilts ~
This quilt is so simple, yet so beautiful
Quilted by Great Grandmother Pearl Hale (Jackson)  ~  1873-1966

My Grandmother Elizabeth Miller (Ervin)  ~  1918-1990
made this quilt top when she was teenager,
 so in the late 20's or early 30's she created this.

I would like some things to go back the way they were when my grandparents were young.
We are making little changes now, and someday everyone may have to change.
But will those skills still be there?

I wish every single day that my grandparents were still alive.
I wish that my Grandma Miller could give me baking and sewing tips,
that my Grandma Correll could teach how to crochet and we could snack on some fried okra on my front porch,
hear the stories retold from my Grandpa Miller about his childhood and his years in the Navy,
go fishing one more time with my Grandpa Correll and learn the calls of all the birds outside my window.
We sure can learn a lot from previous generations.  

Made from flour and/or sugar sacks by my Great Grandma Hale
Such adorable prints, such tiny handmade stitches.
Why isn't the world resourceful like this anymore?
Coffee came in jars we could use later for flour,
flour and sugar came in these pretty printed bags so people
could create quilts and clothing for their family.
Shortage of food?  Then grow a victory garden.
Be more self-sufficient.
Beautiful pairings of colors.
It sure did take a lot of sacks to make all those tiny squares.
I love this one.  Will I ever be good enough to make one like this??
You know they have reproduction 1940's prints at the quilt shop,
it would be a huge task, but I am not getting any younger.
 And there is no time like the present.
Although this quilt is much older than the 1940's.

This quilt my Mom has memories of her family carrying in the trunk of
their car in the 1960's as an emergency blanket and for spreading out for picnics.
My Grandmother Elizabeth Miller (Ervin) ~ her grandmother ~ my Great Great Grandmother (Firth)
made this quilt and it came over from England (give me time and I will dig up when).

My hopes are to find out some of the names of these quilts from my quilt teacher next week.

I don't know about you all, but am just sew darn happy right now.
Hope your week is full of treasures!


Erin said...

I agree on all counts about learning all the homesteading skills, but quilting to me is rocket science LOL! I am just starting to "relearn" how to "properly" use my sewing machine, not sure what I was doing before but it definitely wasn't working! My mom works in a greenhouse in MN and in the slow season they rent the space out to different groups and she said they had a "quilters weekend" there and she was floored by the expensive machines everyone had brought - funny thing is, they still won't do it all for you :)

Have you visited Mama Pea's blog "A Home Grown Journal"? She is a homesteader who makes some beautiful quilts and she also has a quilting blog that is linked on there, I think you'd like her style!

jill said...

Thanks Erin,
Yes, I love her blog. I don't read it everyday, just now and then to catch up. I see everybody seem to have a style, I don't know how to have one. So I am just being me and hitting on whatever is on my mind. I love yours! (have tried to leave comments several times, and there were problems??) And I love knowing that you are writing as much for your husband and family than for people like me.
I want to learn how to knit, have been trying to teach myself. Too hard. I need more guidance. SO maybe this quilt thing (not looking to enter contests) just make some as gifts, will work with this hands on class.
Thanks for checking in on me :)

Erin said...

Isn't that strange how it works, some people can quilt and sew and I can't even fathom that it looks so difficult, but yet I can knit? I tried crochet but couldn't get that either, but my friend is the exact opposite LOL! As far as the knitting, I tried teaching myself out of a book for 2 weeks then gave up and got a library book for KIDS on how to knit, bingo LOL!