Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Patchwork Quilt Sewn by My Sister for Our Niece

This lovely quilt was sewn by my sister Linda for our niece Eden, who turns Sweet Sixteen in June. It has been in the works (like any quilt worth its salt) for years. My niece hand-selected the pairs of fabrics for the 25-patch squares and my sister chose the complementary whole block squares from her ever-growing stash of quilting fabrics. I once joked to a friend that my sister's stash of fabrics would choke her, but mine would, in fact, kill her! I do confess I love my textiles....

We went to one of our favorite quilt shops ten days ago, The Country Loft, and my sister found the perfect backing fabric, a small-scale creamy plaid. She'll be having this special gift quilt professionally machine-quilted in the next few months, and I hope it makes a stop at our local quilt show before she bestows it upon our niece. I have a feeling a ribbon awaits it!

Patchwork Quilt Detail (2)
Patchwork Quilt Detail

Monday, May 14, 2007

A flower for my Mother

A flower for my Mother, originally uploaded by confections.

I included this needlefelted rose in the Mother's Day package for my Mother. I made it from some handpainted Targhee sheepsroving that I had in my stash. It has a little nub on the back which can easily accommodate a pin without distorting the flower if she chooses to wear it on a hat or lapel or handbag. I love needlefelting little items like this. Most of the ones I make are more three dimensional, but I'm experimenting with different syles at the moment.

I'm off to a weaving guild presentation tonight which will be a hands-on demonstration of painting a silk scarf. I have done some of that in my time, but a refresher will be a great boost to my cross-crafting addiction!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Kate Sessions, the Mother of Balboa Park, and My Mother and Grandmothers

Kate Sessions Statue, originally uploaded by confections.

Today I am featuring a photo of a statue of Kate Sessions, the “Mother of Balboa Park”, in San Diego, California. My sister and I visited the park this Saturday to photograph two of her quilts (more on those lovelies later this week) and we captured sweet Kate as well.

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I’m busy getting my Mom’s package of goodies ready to send. This particular statue of Kate Sessions reminds my Mother of her own mother, whom I never knew except through photos and my Mother’s recollections of her. I’ll include a series of photos of Kate-who-reminds-my-mother-of-her-mother in my Mom’s gift box.

In my genealogical research this month, I located my Mother’s grandmother’s birthplace in Germany, a tiny village called Thaleischweiler in the Rhineland-Palatinate area. The only clues I had to guide me were supposed roots in Aachen, but my Aunt Margaret remembered some of the old-timers in her youth speaking of Pirmasens.

Once I had a positive hit on my grandmother’s name and birthdate on the International Genealogical Index, and discovered that the town was in the Pirmasens region, I knew I had hit genealogical paydirt. I was able to go back two further generations as well. This is heady stuff for a budding genealogist, finding these links after many trials and tribulations. I will find a special way to honor these newly discovered grandmothers this Mother’s Day.

Kate Sessions Plaque
Kate Sessions Sculpture (Hens and Chicks)
Kate Sessions Sculpture (Hen in Hand)
Flowering Plant in Balboa Park

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Vintage Effanbee Doll Collage (New Dress)

My vintage Effanbee doll (which I introduced in my April 19th blog entry) has been duly newly clad in a calico dress. She doesn't look nearly as forlorn as she did a few short weeks ago. Clothes make the doll!

I raided my stash of quilting calicoes to find the appropriate complement to my circa World War I era doll. I believe she is a prototype of the "Baby Dainty" Doll produced by Effanbee at that time. I found a reproduction Simplicity doll pattern for the bodice piece and gathered a rather long skirt to it, accented with a deep tuck. It's been donkey's years (oh, I miss Princess Diana!) since I have made any doll clothes.

My first major foray into sewing as a grade-schooler was cranking out Barbie doll clothes on my mother's vintage Singer treadle sewing machine. Barbie doll clothes are on such a tiny scale, they are quite tedious to sew, I think. Baby Dainty is about 14 inches tall and her chest is 10 inches in circumference, so sewing her dress was a breeze by comparison. She was all dressed up and I had promised to take her to a tea party, so off we went to meet up with my girlfriends and sister at Tea-Upon-Chatsworth for a delightful high tea and furrawn (per Anais Nin: soulful conversation that is deeply intimate).

My girlfriends each brought along a doll and a picture from their childhood. I shared one of me with my Ginny doll from the mid-1950's (shown below). Ah, sweet bird of youth!

Vintage Effanbee Baby Dainty Sporting Her New Calico Dress
High Tea at Tea-Upon-Chatsworth
Vintage Effanbee Doll's New Calico Dress
Best Friends