Saturday, November 6, 2021

Vintage Fabrics


"Edged in Black" by Audrey Arno, 7" x 7"

Hello from a long-absent quilter!  It is autumn in Wisconsin, Oliver is sleeping near me, now 12 and sweeter than ever. 

I admit to being a bit surprised that this blog is still online, gosh.

Alas these past few years I have not been able to quilt due to a variety of "perfect storm" events, but this past summer I have been sorting through so many saved fabrics, books, quilts, magazines, letters, ribbons, business cards, oh my....several rooms of things to go through, air out, read, save or discard. 

I've found  many interesting items I had forgotten about, articles or photos I liked and then realized they were mine (ha!), and ended up thinking it might be a good thing to start blogging and share few of my thoughts and photos again.  They reminded me of friends, quilters, so many experiences over the years, like vintage fabrics that are re-discovered and more beautiful than ever.

I’ll begin with the little quilt, above, rolled up in a packet of small treasures I had put away for safekeeping and forgotten. 

“Edged in Black” by Audrey Arno from Tulsa, OK, was from a collection of "little" quilts made for sale to support Ami Simms' Alzheimers project, raising money for research.  They were displayed and sold at one of the big quilt shows I attended and this one spoke to me, a wonderful mélange of vintage fabrics, beautifully designed and pieced. 

When I held this quilt yesterday the idea that sprang to mind was to make small projects with some of your fabrics you have saved or put aside because they are so special.  Don’t simply store fabric, instead make something small and easily completed, and enjoy it, donate it, gift it to another quilter who would love it. 

It needn’t use vintage fabrics although some of my very first new fabric purchases are probably now old enough to be classified as antique….!  It can be from your special collections of batiks, or hand dyed, or conversational prints, blue and white fabrics, whatever.  Someone would love it and a small piece can be framed for display or added to a small area in a house.

Recently I watched a news story about the container ships backed up and no merchandise to buy for Christmas, oh no.  What happened to making something from what you already have?  Or doing something special for someone?  Or give a day helping a relative with things to do around the house?  We don’t need any more things in the house, but of course a small handmade gift would be welcomed with happy delight.

Below are photos of just that, a small quilt pieced from an old very worn tied quilt that my mother’s grandmother had made from fabrics in the early 1900’s.  My mother made a label so it is documented nicely, and I treasure this little quilt especially since my mother has been gone now for some years. 

The quilt is about 16" square, the blocks each 2 1/2" finished, and it is hand quilted.  The border fabric was new.  On the simple label below it is documented, so nice for any piece you make.  

I loved this in 1989 but it is more precious to me now.  

It has been lovely sharing some thoughts with you today; see you next time!