"Lo, Children Are An Heritage of the LORD: and the Fruit of the Womb is His Reward" - Psalm 127:3

Friday, July 23, 2010

Identity Crisis Inspiration

I think my blog is having an identity crisis - ha. I started this blog as a place to record crafts, but lately it's been all about food, gardening and getting organized. I'm having some serious crafting withdrawals.I got to thinking about what sort of craft I was in the mood for last night, and I started thinking about the Over the River quilt pattern I had seen on the quilt shop hop last year. It has a lot of hand embroidery on it and the pictures look just like my Grandma's old farm in southeast Nebraska. Even the house and barn are just like hers were. The middle say "Over the River and Through the Woods to Grandmother's House we go." I have been wanting this pattern for a year. So, I figured this would be as good a time as any to start it :) I'll be ordering it this weekend.

My grandmother - Dad's Mom - was the person who taught me to embroider. She taught me to love sewing. These are a few things I have from her house. I know some of this was embroidered by her, but I imagine some of it was embroidered by others in her family. She lived in the farmhouse that her grandmother originally lived in, so it could be that some of this is that old. I remember stitching with her while she was making this "Monday" tea towel. The script of this word could have been written by her own hand, but I think most of these towels had the words on them already. Her handwriting was just like that. I have several of her iron-on patterns as well.

This is a pillowcase that looks like it has wedding bells on it - at least that's what I think they are. I don't remember Grandma crocheting though, and a lot of these pieces have crocheted lace trim. So these could be someone else's work. There sure was a lot with crocheting though, and I have a lot of crochet work from the house too, so maybe she was just not crocheting anymore by the time I was old enough to know about anything.

Here's a close-up of one of the bells.

I have a whole set of these dishtowels with birds. Grandma didn't make things "for company." She used the things she made. She lived on a farm quite a ways from town, and she wasn't fancy. There were always people coming over to visit and stopping by at all times, so I guess she was always "company ready" - though I think she would have laughed at that term.

This piece is a round table cloth - for a small side table. There are six bluebirds carrying flowering branches and big pink flowers swirled around the edge.

This is a small table decoration - are they still called doilies if they aren't all crochet? Anyway, this is oblong and has very delicate stitching, and a different stitch than most stuff Grandma did. It is done on a burlap like material and has a variegated pink crochet trim. I'm not sure that Grandma did this one. The fabric seems older and the stitching is a lot different than the other things. The oblong shape of this makes me think it may have been made to go under a lamp.

This is a secretary I inherited from Grandma's farmhouse. I love this piece. I don't know how old it is. There are stains from an ink well inside the drop down desk area. Dad doesn't remember how long it was in the house either.

This is the top section of the secretary. I have put a lot of the things I got from Grandma in it - mostly things that are from her house. I keep a lot of the crochet and embroidery in there. I have used the embroidered pillowcases and things as shelf liners.

I love this tea towel because it is so different. Strips of fabric are stitched down to make the birds and ribbon. Fun. This seems very much like something Grandma would have done.

Here's a closeup of one of the birds. I'll have to try this method sometime. I really like using this type of tea towel, and I think the fabric pictures would hold up better than embroidery ... hmm, I may have just found my next project lol.

This is one end of a table runner. The other side is identical and the center is sort of an oblong shape.

This is one of the table runners I am using in the secretary. I love the soft lilac colors. It reminds me of the huge lilac bush at Grandma's house. We always had an Easter picture taken by the lilac bush when I was little.

This might be my favorite piece in my collection. I think the birds and flowers are so pretty, and this pillowcase hasn't been used much. It's just like new.

Here is one of the crocheted pieces from Grandma's house. I saw a pattern for this online one time and would have purchased it but it was ridiculously expensive. Someday I would like to make one of these, just to say I did ... good reason, huh?

When my husband and I were married back in 1996, I made a pillow for our ring bearer. The rings were tied onto the red ribbons (not the smartest plan since our 5 year old ring bearer flopped the pillow around until the rings came off and one fell in the grass at our outdoor wedding. Thankfully I saw it fall.) The wedding came before I had a chance to finish the rope hearts. I really should finish that sometime - ha.

The pillow matched our wedding invitations on the right of the picture. The ceramic cowboy bride and groom was our cake topper (the other little couple belonged to my mom). I copied the picture from the card onto the pillow and embroidered it. I was way out of practice, having not stitched anything in at least 10 years, and I used the only stitch I knew at the time, which made the words look jagged and messy. It didn't occur to me to do it any other way. The crochet work on the pillow was already there. It started out completely covered with the lace and I carefully cut away the center section and whip stitched the remainder down to the pillow so it would lay flat. We did a lot of things for our wedding from scratch and had a beautiful ceremony in the park.

So, now that I'm thinking about embroidery, I'm running away with ideas ... Christmas ornaments, new stockings, snowman pillows, and even a Christmas sampler quilt with a snowman motif. We'll see. I'm sure I won't do all of that. I definitely want to do the Over the River pattern. I think it was made just for me ;)