Thursday, January 03, 2008

Winter Ramblings

A New Year has begun. . .and I am fighting with the winter doldrums. Grey, cold skies with no sunshine greet me today. After the warmth of time with loved ones during the Christmas holiday, January's quiet dullness will take some adaptation for me. Of course it's good to rest after a busy time, but the change always seems so sudden. The family schedule is back to normal, whatever that is. Brandon is off to the university and is preparing to start classes on Monday. Rylan started school yesterday and is adapting to having an 8:00 am web animation class. The adaptation is for the early hour after winter break, not for the subject of the class! Establishing the daily routine again takes time and effort. In the house are boxes and packages to put away after holiday gift-giving. Meals need planned that are more 'normal' in nature. The decor of the holiday is being replaced with sought-after plainness and utility. Trying to decide what to blog about draws a blank. I should be writing about home organization or New Year's resolutions. . .but those are not subjects I am enthused about at the moment. I guess I'm still basking in the warmth of being with extended family and still seek motivation to begin the 'new'. Besides, both home organization and New Year's resolutions are things I do on a daily basis, so setting aside a special yearly time for them specifically isn't especially significant to me. Thus said. . .I've decided to ramble on awhile about old quilts!

If you have read Gracious Hospitality for awhile now, you will realize that I am drawn to them. They are something I look for in antique and thrift stores, although I usually do not purchase them because they cost a pretty penny these days! The old quilts in my collection were made by grandmother's, great-grandmother's, and mother's on both my side of the family and on Brent's. Some are worn and tattered, but treasured just the same. On our road trip I purchased the McCall's Quilting Magazine for December 2007 and enjoyed its feature on vintage quilts. What treasures they displayed within its pages! A collection of very old, beautiful, and significant quilts were featured. I especially liked the one above (stitched in 1895) and how it incorporates embroidered initials into some of the blocks. Quilts with embroidered initials or names of friends are sometimes called Friendship Quilts and they have always interested me.

While on our journey to Grandma's, I found a very simple Friendship Quilt in an antique shop. Embroidered names were stitched on simple muslin and a simple diamond design was used for the hand-quilting. The shopkeeper had this quilt under plastic (a no-no), but I suspect they were simply protecting it from people like me who love to touch textiles! Hopefully someone will purchase this quilt soon and rescue it from it's plastic shell!

In another shop I found this simple yet colorful nine-patch. Much loved and worn, it's a simple tied quilt made of a variety of colorful blocks. When I look at a quilt like this I always wonder who made it and of whose dresses or shirts the fabric scraps came from. I suspect this quilt has been draped over a chair in this antique shop for quite some time. . .and will remain there for awhile longer. It's price was significant.

So, I'm off to find some sunshine in my day. I hope yours is happy and blessed!

Happy January!


  1. Happy New your quilts, what wonderful treasures.

    be blessed and choose Joy!

    mama to 6
    one homemade and 5 adopted

  2. I wish you could have come to the quilt show I went to last year. It was shown in a sanctuary and set to music. The husband would roll out the quilts and then the woman would give the history about that particular one and then sing a song from that particular era. She had the most incredible personal collection and was such a quilt artist herself!

    I'm having trouble getting into the regular routine after the holidays, too, and thinking what to blog about. I think most of us are. I enjoyed your rambling!


  3. What quilts have you made? Do you have your first quilt? Maybe it is time for you to choose some fabric that sings to you, and piece it together into some lovely winter warmth. Can you hand quilt?

  4. Oh boy, you and me both. I sit here looking at yet another dreary day. I can't even remember when I last saw blue skies. It's just awful. I also feel a little less than enthusiastic and I'm also trying to figure out what to post.
    Your quilts are just lovely.
    Hang in there . .the boys will return . .smile.

  5. Oh I want that magazine.I will really miss Vintage QUilts magazine - which I hear will no longer be published. Nowhere on our island. Maybe I can find it during a mainland jaunt next week! Are you tired of snow yet?? We have not had a flake here...odd winter for us - unusually mild.


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