Friday, March 4, 2011

An Accidental Quilt

    I really am behind in posting. My only excuse is, I've been quilting. After my episode with pink eye and blurred vision, I've been like a woman on a mission...a mission to finish! Last night I finished a quilt top I started a couple weeks ago, by accident. I had no intention of starting another quilt. I thought I was done with the crazy block mania, but this one snuck up on me. I was cleaning up the "debris" left over from "Cozy Cottages", the Crazy quilt for my niece in California. I had started sewing the blocks into rows, even. I made the mistake of looking through my collection of toile fabrics during a break from sewing. I came across a one yard piece of toile with green scenes on a pale blue background. I didn't remember this one and so I fondled it for a while. Zap! Inspiration struck and I started pulling blue and green repro fabrics from the shelves to see how they looked with the toile. I envisioned alternating blocks of toile with crazy-pieced blocks in between...maybe a crib or lap quilt. Hmmm, maybe I'll just fussy cut the toile squares now for use later. Those looked so appealing, I thought, hmmm, maybe I'll just make 3 or 4 crazy blocks of the blues and greens to see how they look with the toile blocks. I made those and laid them out. Wow! I loved the look, so I cut and sewed a few more, then sewed it all together. Now, I was wishing I had bought 3 yards of that toile. What had I been thinking only buying one measly yard! I looked at the scraps left from fussy cutting. Maybe I could stretch this into a bigger quilt somehow. Aha! A medallion setting with the 60" square top I had made so far surrounded by a border...cut and sewed not one, but 2 borders. Ok, now it needed something more. Hmmm, what if I added a wide border of a complimentary blue toile (another one yard only piece!) with pieced corner blocks then a double row of crazy-pieced blocks around that? I've been a woman possessed for 2 weeks. I'd work on that top after work and until my husband came home at night. Then, I'd quilt on "Reap the Whirlwind" on my quilt frame in the family room while we watched TV together. So, now I have another top finished and will put the last quilting stitches on "R the W"  tonight. My Mother will celebrate her 88th birthday on April 1st and the toile medallion will be perfect for her bedroom. Shhh! It's a surprise birthday gift.
   Do you ever get possessed like that? Sometimes you just need to go with it when inspiration hits. It may not be convenient to take on a new project, but a great quilt may come from it. I have one piece of advice for you...if you love a fabric don't buy only one yard. You will regret it!

   A hundred and fifty years ago this week the territories of Nevada and Dakota were formed. Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as our 16th president on March 4th. On March 7th, Missouri was leaning towards remaining in the Union. Commissioners from the Confederate States of America tried to arrange a meeting with the Secretary of State, William Seward, but Lincoln told Steward not to agree to the meeting. We were edging ever closer to war.

   These photographs are of unidentified children, but were all taken in the state of New York in the 1860's.

This boy of six or seven is dressed in Zuove attire. Zuove soldiers fought in the Civil War and wore distinctive uniforms similar to what this boy is wearing.

These little brothers are playing at being soldiers. They have little uniforms and their own swords. I wish this photo had scanned more clearly. Was their Daddy off fighting the war when this photo was taken?

During the 1800's, boys wore dresses until they were 2 or more years of age. They usually wore short pants  once they were walking, talking, and toilet-trained. I wonder why he was barefoot.

Thanks for stopping by and keep stitching!

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