Monday, November 30, 2020

Chapter 1: The Autograph Quilt, The Beginning

Chapter 1

 When quilt groups get together 
you can never be sure
 where the conversations might lead.

But I can recall a spring meeting
of my quilt group in 1994.  
Someone brought up the fact there
were currently 5 living presidents and
that there had been 6 in April before the
death of Richard Nixon.

Do you know who they were?
No peeking...


We got to thinking how
cool would it be to get their autographs
and put them into a quilt.

Well, ideas got tossed around and 
in the end myself and two friends, Debbie and Liz
decided to see what we could actually do.

First, we decided that most potential
celebrities wouldn't care about 3 middle aged
women asking for their autographs, but
if we could get our junior high daughters involved,
we might have better success.

The girls were on board.

But there were quite a few questions that 
needed to be answered.

1.  What fabrics were we going to have someone sign?
And how were we going to prep it?

We decided we would each choose our own fabric,
cut 6.5" x 2.5" rectangles,
and back each with freezer paper.

We would include 3 pieces of fabric in each envelope, one
from each girl, 
and a self addressed stamped envelope.
We would ask each person to sign 3 times with a 
permanent pen.

2.To whom would we send these requests?

Seeing this was "the girls"  project
it was interesting to see who they perceived
as the movers and shakers of 1994.
I'm sure at first we tried to steer them in
a general direction, but they each
seemed to make interesting choices.

They each wrote a letter.

Here's what my daughter wrote:

My name is Elizabeth and I am in the 8th grade.  My two
friends, Lisa and Abbey and myself are each making a signature quilt.  
We are asking famous people who we think have made
a contribution to our society and culture to help us.
 We would appreciate it if you could
autograph the 3 enclosed pieces of fabric with a
permanent pen.  We have also enclosed an envelope for you
to return the fabric as soon as possible.  
Thank you for helping us put together a 
signature quilt of 1994.

The Big Question:
3.  Where were we going to send them?

You have to remember that in 1994 the 
World Wide Web had only gone public 
for about 3 years.

So we had to do some research to find addresses.
  Can you believe there
were books at the library with "famous"
peoples addresses of where to write
to get autographs!
We even used out of state phonebooks
which libraries had at the time.
This wouldn't be the case today.

Politicians were easy to write to at their offices,
 sports celebrities to team headquarters, and
movie stars to an agent or fan club.

We got very creative.

My daughter and I sent our our first batch
of letters in June, 1994 and
left on a family vacation.  
When we returned there was
one of our envelopes.

The then Governor of Colorado

The second one came days later.

Quarterback Broncos #7

Do you remember what first initiated this project?
The 5 Living Presidents.

Did we get any of their autographs?

But we did get George W. Bush who 
was then Governor of Texas.

But we did get First Ladies.

Next time I'll share some of the autograph
stories, how many we received, 
and are they real. 
The girls kept going until 1996.
It was a great project and learning experience for us all.

Until Next time-

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving, A Little Early

 The Mayflower has landed!

After 66 days of rough seas and during the height 
of the North Atlantic storm season, 
the Mayflower with it's 102 passengers
and 28 crew sighted land,
 Cape Cod on November 9,1620.

This isn't where they were suppose to go.
But after such a terrible journey, this is where
they decided to stay!

Look what I finished.

"Coming to America"
The Women of the Mayflower
Celebrating 400 Years

a design by Brenda Gervais

The cross stitch listed the 18 married women
who travelled on the Mayflower
with their husbands.

Only 5 women survived the first winter 
and only 4 were there for the famous Thanksgiving,
Ellen Billington, Elizabeth Hopkins, 
Mary Brewster, and Susannah White who later
married Elizabeth Winslow's widowed husband.

 My Mayflower descendant,
Francis Cooke arrived with his son, John.
(My 9th great grandfather)

They had decided that Hester and the other 4 children
were to remain in Leiden, Netherlands until later.

And I'm glad they decided to do that!

Hester and the kids arrived in 1623 on the ship, Anne.
And the Cooke's had one more child, 
Mary, who I am descended from.

The Pilgrims didn't leave a list of the
provisions that they brought with them, but
based on other lists, historians have 
taken a educated guess.
Did you know two dogs travelled on the Mayflower?
An English Spaniel and an English Mastiff

The Pilgrims survived.
They would celebrate their arrival
in the New World and all that the
 Wampanoag Indians had done for them
with a feast on the one year anniversary of 
their arrival in the autumn of 1621.

Well, Francis lived a very long life (80 years)

and Hester (82 years).
I would have to say they were strong and
determined people.   
I feel honored to have these two people
in my family and hope
to keep their story alive for generations to come.

Wishing you and your family 
a very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving.

I have fallen down the cross stitch 
rabbit hole.  I've started another project
by Blackbird Designs.

I knew this might be a problem!

Until Next Time-

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Quilting Styles Can Change, Maybe.

As time continues to go by,
I'm sure we've all noticed  
how our quilting preferences have changed.
Our color choices change,
 different styles come and go, 
one technique over another or
even how we might use quilts.

One fabric designer that I enjoyed
in the past was Lynn Hagmeier, 
of Kansas Trouble Quilters.
Her rich dark colors and 
low contrast classical small prints
 were new and different 20 years ago.

I bought a lot of her different lines from Moda,

Log Cabin

and taught and made several of her
block of the month patterns.

Liberated Ladies

I even had the opportunity to travel
to Bennington, Kansas twice to enjoy a
weekend of sewing with friends and Lynn.

But time has moved on and other
favorites have taken KTQ's place.

It wasn't too long ago I realized how much 
Kansas Trouble fabric I still had!

Actually, an embarrassingly huge stack. 

In my quest to use up, I began searching for
a pattern that would be motivating and easy
to make a dent in  these long forgotten fabric pieces.

 I found a Miss Rosie, Carrie Nelson,
design that seemed appropriate.

Log Cabin Under the Stars
75" x 75"

The pattern can be found in Carrie's book
Miss Rosie's Spice of Life Quilts

It's a combination of log cabin blocks
and sawtooth star blocks and 

were easy to chain piece on my 
little feather weight machine.

I'm happy to say,
I used up tons of fabrics

and another 6yards for a pieced backing and binding.

 With the holiday season
quickly approaching, it's a quilt top
 that will have to wait
to be finished. 

But that's okay.
The fabrics have waited a long time
just to be sewn.

Well, I have to make a confession. 

The warm cozy colors of these fabrics 
have rekindled an renewed affection. 
Maybe my quilting preferences 
haven't veered to far from the home roots after all.

Until Next Time-