As I played around with my latest quilt piecing design, a vision of the old mill store in 1952 came to mind. I was 5 years old and we had just moved out of my grandmother’s house to a tiny 2-room ‘house’ in the country. My dad was going to be a farmer on 10 of the sorriest acres in the San Antonio, Texas area. No electricity, no well (the water wasn’t fit for anything) and a rickety outhouse. But my younger brother Bill and I thought it was heaven! (Brother Jimmie was still too little and Ricky wasn’t quite ready to make his entrance into the world, Mama must have been about 6 months pregnant with him at the time.) Our neighbors had cows, pigs, dogs, chickens and plenty of kids within a mile of our house. Not even the mean old white tom turkey on the farm next door could dampen our enthusiasm.
Riding in the back of Dad’s old pickup truck to the White Wing Mills feed store was a highlight of our life. We bought flour for baking and feed for the chickens in 50 lb cloth sacks. The old gentleman who managed the store was very kind to us. He would ask Mama how many yards of material she needed to make my dresses (we didn’t call if fabric in those days) and then he would figure out how many sacks she would need. I was allowed to pick out the colors I liked and he would put them aside to be picked up as we could afford them.
Mama always worked magic with those feed sacks. I still remember the first dress she made on her grandmother’s treadle machine in that little house. It was a light burgundy and pink calico which she trimmed with white bits of lace and rickrack. I didn’t know how poor we were until I actually started school. But Mama was so clever with her meager supplies, my clothes never looked ‘homemade’.
Even as poor as we were then, we had a quilting frame hanging from the ceiling of the main room. The scraps left over from making our clothes went into whatever quilt Mama, a couple of aunts, and sometimes neighbors were making. I remember hiding underneath it to hear what they talked about. A lot of it didn’t make sense but it was a great hiding place. Sure wish I knew what happened to those quilts….
Anyway, piecing for me is a joy for so many reasons. Not only does it allow my creative side to come out and play, but the colors and patterns of the fabrics stir sweet memories of how I got into making quilts in the first place. It gives me time to think of my family and friends and put lots of love into whatever is in my hands at the moment.
And now I’ll introduce my latest fantasy, obviously inspired by something by Freddy Moran … LaLaPalooza, or LaLa for short.
I had all of these black and white strips just hanging on my cabinets and sometimes they just get so noisy! And my fabric is over whelming me again so I decided to make a real SCRAP quilt, HA! Some of the blocks were testing new ideas and never worked in the end design, some were learning new techniques and then there are the pieces I just could NOT throw away! I think I really, really want to keep her …..
Up Down & Sideways will go in the donation box once it is quilted. Doesn’t matter who gets it, I just loved taking those 6″ squares I bought online and making a pretty quilt for some lucky person. Yes, I have to put black in just about everything 🙂 They make this one look like windows.
And now for my last act for the day …. Winter Solace has her borders. I think it really made a difference. The star seemed to run off the quilt, so I had to fence it in 🙂 These black and whites were left over from a couple of things I made for the Dallas MS fund raiser my friend Wendy worked on a couple of years ago. This is on a king bed and covers the entire top! It will be a challenge to quilt.
So that’s it for now. I’m already working on a new masculine top. Chris from Sew n’Vac called today and I can pick up my MC6600 next Wednesday when we go into Knoxville for more birdseed. Then I will have to stop playing and start quilting some of these tops!
Until next time, create something!
Love and blessings to all.